Over 300 Million people worldwide have osteoarthritis in the knee and hip. As the world’s population lives longer, the significance of osteoporosis increases. More than 300 million people worldwide have osteoarthritis in the hip and knee, according to a new study.
Australia has among the highest rates of osteoarthritis in the world, with the number of people suffering from the debilitating disease expected to rise as we keep living longer.
The degenerative disease is caused when protective tissue cushioning the ends of bones wears down, gradually worsening over time. The larger joints are most vulnerable, but osteoarthritis can also affect other bones, including the spine.
Osteoarthritis more prevalent in US, Australia, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Researchers compared health data from 195 countries and found the disease is most prevalent among more affluent regions, including the US, Australia, North Africa, and the Middle East.
There were nearly 15 million new knee and hip cases worldwide in 2017, an increase of more than eight per cent since 1990.
Researchers warn the disease represents a major public health challenge with cases to boom as major risk factors grow. The major risk factors are age, joint injury, and obesity.
Preventing falls and fractures
There are many reasons older adults are susceptible to falls. These include side effects of some medications, vision impairments and less ability to prevent tripping over as balance, muscle mass and strength decline with age.
The risk of fracture due to poor bones increases with age, and this is further enhanced by osteoporosis.
About 30% of older adults fall at least once a year. The less often you fall, the less likely you are to break a bone.
Prevent Falls, Prevent Fractures
Preventing falls in older people is an important way to prevent fractures. Adults who have good balance and muscle strength are often able to “save themselves” when they trip. Exercises that improve balance (such as Tai Chi) and help maintain muscle mass (weight-bearing and resistance exercises) are beneficial.
Preventing osteoarthritis and fractures also involves adequate calcium in the diet (at least three serves of dairy or equivalent per day) and an adequate level of vitamin D in the bloodstream.
Sunlight exposure on the skin is the primary source of vitamin D, but we need to practice safe sun exposure to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
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