The Association Between Severity of Radiographic Knee OA and Recurrent Falls in Middle and Older Aged Adults: The Osteoarthritis Initiative

Rebekah Harris, Elsa S. Strotmeyer, Leena Sharma, C. Kent Kwoh, Jennifer S. Brach, Robert Boudreau, Jane A. Cauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is the most prevalent type of OA and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Falls are a major public health concern in older adults. Our aim was to examine how the severity of radiographic KOA affects recurrent falls in a cohort of middle-aged and older individuals enrolled in the Osteoarthritis Initiative. METHODS: About 3 972 participants, mean age of 63 years, 58% female were included. Participants were divided into 5 mutually exclusive groups based on their worst Kellgren-Lawrence grade of radiographic KOA from annual x-rays from baseline to 36 months. Generalized estimating equations for repeated logistic regression were used to model the association between KOA severity and the likelihood of recurrent falls (≥2 falls/year) over 5 years of follow-up (>36 to 96 months). RESULTS: Older adults (≥age 65) with KOA were at higher odds of recurrent falls in comparison to individuals without KOA in multivariate models (possible OA odds ratio [OR] = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.09-4.52; mild OA OR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.34-4.62; unilateral moderate-severe OA OR = 2.84, 95% CI = 1.47-5.50; bilateral moderate-severe OA OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.13-5.62). Middle-aged adults (aged 45-64) with KOA did not have increased odds of recurrent falls in comparison to those without KOA except for possible KOA (OR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.01-2.78; KOA severity × Age interaction = 0.025). CONCLUSION: Older adults with radiographic evidence of KOA have an increased likelihood of experiencing recurrent falls in comparison to those without KOA independent of established risk factors. Our results suggest that fall prevention efforts should include older adults with all stages of KOA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 2023

Keywords

  • Falls
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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