Osteoarthritis (OA) affects 27 million Americans. This leading cause of disability results in 632,000 joint replacements each year, accounts for approximately 5% of overall health care costs, and is expanding rapidly as the population ages and deals with the obesity epidemic. This is a bad situation now and unless remedial action is taken it will get a lot worse soon.
Despite its personal and societal impact, relatively little attention has been directed at OA. Moreover, our pharmaceutical companies are discouraged from developing new interventions because present outcome measures are very insensitive. To change this picture, we need vigorous efforts in public health to increase awareness of OA and encourage life styles that do not promote OA. We need public policies that effectively combat obesity and encourage healthy behavior. And, we need research that will lead to an understanding of how to detect and reverse OA at its earliest stages.
This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 8, Number 1.
Article originally published at springerlink.com.
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year, February, July and October. The Journal accepts and publishes peer reviewed articles from around the world that contribute to the advancement of the knowledge of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.