What is the economic burden of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Jun 10, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The high prevalence of osteoarthritis entails significant costs to society. Direct costs include clinician visits, medications, therapeutic modalities, and surgical intervention. Indirect costs include time lost from work.

Costs associated with osteoarthritis can be particularly significant for elderly persons, who face potential loss of social interactions and independence, leading to a need for help with activities of daily living. As populations of developed nations age over the coming decades, the need for better understanding of osteoarthritis and for improved therapeutic alternatives will continue to grow. (See Epidemiology.)


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