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Osteoarthritis patients more susceptible to falls, fractures

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People with hip or knee osteoarthritis face a greater risk of suffering a fall that leads to a fracture, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

A research team led by the University of East Anglia set out to assess the probability of individuals with early-diagnosed hip or knee osteoarthritis experiencing a fall or fracture compared to those without the disease.

Using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a nationwide study in the United States, the researchers identified all people who were diagnosed with hip or knee osteoarthritis within a 12-month period and compared them against those without osteoarthritis.

The analysis confirmed that there was a difference in the occurrence of falls, with or without consequential fractures, between the two groups.

Results showed that people with knee osteoarthritis had a 54% greater chance of experiencing a fall compared to those without, and people with hip osteoarthritis had a 52% greater chance of experiencing a fall compared to those without hip osteoarthritis.

What´s more, people with knee and hip osteoarthritis had an over an 80% greater chance of experiencing a fracture in the first 12 months of their diagnosis compared to those without hip or knee osteoarthritis.

The researchers concluded: “There is an increased risk of falls and fractures in early-diagnosed knee and hip osteoarthritis compared to those without osteoarthritis. International guidelines on the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis should consider the management of falls risk.”