Osteoarthritis Patients More Prone to Multiple Chronic Conditions

Osteoarthritis Patients More Prone to Multiple Chronic Conditions
Osteoarthritis Patients More Prone to Multiple Chronic Conditions. Credit | Johns Hopkins Medicine

United States – New research states that osteoarthritis might increase the chances of having numerous other chronic diseases by nearly three folds according to a two decade study.

Those with OA – a condition regarding joint failure that results in cartilage wearing away and bony surfaces rubbing on each other – will likely experience development of other diseases as years pass, studies reveal, as reported by HealthDay.

These other chronic illnesses can range from heart disease, diabetes depression, cancer and other diseases affecting kidneys, liver, lungs as well as other organs, as outlined in a report published recently in the RMD Open journal.

Research Led by Andrea Dell’isola

The research team, led by Andrea Dell’isola, an associate professor at Lund University in Sweden, analyzed medical data from nearly 10,000 residents of southern Sweden diagnosed with OA between 2008 and 2009. For comparison, two control subjects without OA, matched by age and sex, were also monitored.

Higher Prevalence of Chronic Illnesses Among OA Patients

The study found that individuals with OA were significantly more likely to develop multiple chronic illnesses as they aged. Specifically, 42% of those who developed the highest number of chronic illnesses had OA, compared to 29% of those with the fewest illnesses. Overall, the chance of falling into the sickest category increased by approximately 2.5 times for OA patients.

Lifestyle and Health Impact of OA

There are speculations that the difference in lifestyle and health due to the OA might have contributed to the increased risk among patients. Arthritic patients desist from exercising, and they experience low-grade inflammation frequently. These factors, when coupled with overeating, may increase the prevalence of different diseases, as reported by HealthDay.

Severe Disability Among the Sickest Patients

It also found a high prevalence of disability which was even higher among the vulnerable patients within the society. The authors concluded the following: “In sum, the results of the study indicate that people with OA would have higher level of disability than those without OA.”