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Osteoarthritis is Growing in Prevalence Globally

Tuesday, January 24th 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Osteoarthritis is a growing global problem. In fact, osteoarthritis (OA) has more than doubled since 1990, according to a study in 2019.

This study from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) found the prevalence of OA increased in countries around the world, although at differing rates of change. As of 2019, there were approximately 527 million cases of OA globally, which is a stunning increase of 113.25% over 247.51 million cases in 1990.

What is going on?

In north America, 80% of individuals show some x-ray evidence of OA by age 65, and 60 of them have significant joint pain. A very interesting study compared the size of knee cartilage in the skeletons of people who lived in various time periods all the way back to 6,000 years ago.

The researchers found that the prevalence of knee OA has risen dramatically over the last 50 years. This reflects changes from active hunter/gatherer periods to the current sedentary post-industrial period. Our levels of physical exercise/labor have decreased dramatically while we have gained too much weight.

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