OA of hip or knee contributes to difficulty walking

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  • Managing osteoarthritis (OA) may be crucial for older adults with comorbidities because of its strong association with difficulty walking.

Why this matters

  • Self-reported difficulty walking predicts adverse outcomes in chronic disease, including cardiovascular events and diabetes complications.
  • Such difficulty can arise from undertreated hip and/or knee OA.

Key results

  • 4690 participants (25.4%) reported difficulty walking.
  • Factors with significant independent associations with difficulty walking included older age, female sex, abnormal BMI, stroke, respiratory disease, and, with strongest effect, hip and/or knee OA.
  • A single OA-affected hip or knee raised probability of difficulty walking from <5% to ~20%.
  • The more hips and/or knees with OA, the more likely an individual reported difficulty walking: for 1-4 affected joints, adjusted ORs were 5.05, 8.68, 13.98, and 21.17, respecti...