A new study estimates that the lifetime risk of symptomatic hand osteoarthritis is 40%, and nearly one in two women and one in four men will develop the condition, which affects hand strength and function and causes disability in activities of daily living.
Race-specific estimates are 41% among whites and 29% among blacks. Also, the lifetime risk among individuals with obesity is 47%, which is 11 percentage points higher than those without obesity.
These findings indicate that hand osteoarthritis is very common. In comparison, prior studies have estimated lifetime risks for symptomatic knee and hip osteoarthritis to be 45% and 25%, respectively.
"These findings demonstrate the substantial burden of symptomatic hand osteoarthritis overall and in subgroups. Increased use of public health and clinical interventions is needed to address its impact," wrote the authors of the Arthritis & Rheumatology study.