How does the prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) vary by age?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Primary osteoarthritis is a common disorder of the elderly, and patients may present asymptomatic. Approximately 80-90% of individuals older than 65 years have evidence of radiographic primary osteoarthritis. [59]

Symptoms typically do not become noticeable until after the age of 50 years. The prevalence of the disease increases dramatically among persons older than 50 years, likely because of age-related alterations in collagen and proteoglycans that decrease the tensile strength of the joint cartilage and because of a diminished nutrient supply to the cartilage. [59]

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