Leigh F. Callahan, PhD and Joanne M. Jordan, MD, MPH awarded an RO1 grant; Mortality in a community sample of adults with arthritis

Symptomatic knee and/or hip Osteoarthritis poses a significant public health problem due to its impact on pain, mobility and disability, and the potential barrier it presents to physical activity among adults with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

The goal of this ancillary study to the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project (JoCo): Arthritis and Disability is to create a repository of enhanced vital status, date and cause of death for participants during their current follow-up and to examine the contribution of knee and/or hip OA to mortality in non-Hispanic African-American and Caucasian men and women. OA is the most common form of musculoskeletal disease, affecting an estimated 27 million adult in the United States, and one of the leading causes of disability and quality adjusted life-year losses. Yet, few studies have examined mortality in individuals with OA.  In the limited number of studies that have examined mortality among those with knee and/or hip OA, there is moderate evidence of increased mortality in individuals with OA compared with the general population. However, most of these studies have serious methodological concerns, including limited or imprecise definitions of OA, use of hospitalized patients or primarily post-surgical patients, or comparison groups that were not restricted to individuals without OA. Thus, several questions still remain unanswered. Given the prevalence and projected increase of OA in the US and global population, a more thorough understanding of OA-attributable mortality will have significant impact on policy and development of new clinical models of care for this condition.

Co-investigators on this project include Drs. Rebecca Cleveland and Todd Schwartz.