Symptom onset, diagnosis and management of osteoarthritis

File Size575.1 KiB
DateOctober 27, 2015
AuthorKaren V MacDonald, Claudia Sanmartin, Kellie Langlois, Deborah A Marshall
The time between symptom onset and physician diagnosis is a period when people with osteoarthritis can make lifestyle changes to reduce pain, improve function and delay disability.
Data and methods
This study analyses data for a nationally representative sample of 4,565 Canadians aged 20 or older who responded to the Arthritis component of the 2009 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada. Descriptive statistics are used to report the prevalence of hip and knee osteoarthritis; the mean age of symptom onset and diagnosis; medication use; and contacts with health professionals during the previous year.
Among people with a physician diagnosis of arthritis, 37% reported osteoarthritis. Of these, 70% experienced pain in the hip(s), knee(s), or hip(s) and knee(s). Close to half (48%) of these people experienced symptoms the same year they were diagnosed; 42% experienced symptoms at least a year before the diagnosis; and 10% experienced
symptoms after the diagnosis. Among those who had symptoms before diagnosis, the average time between symptom onset and diagnosis was 7.7 years.
Individuals with osteoarthritis may experience symptoms for several years before they obtain a physician diagnosis.