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Spotlight Lifetime Risk

Doctor talking to patientLifetime Risk of Hip Osteoarthritis

CDC reports that 1 in 4 people may develop painful hip arthritis in their lifetime.

Hip osteoarthritis is a disabling condition and can limit a person’s ability to do basic activities such as walking a few blocks or going up stairs. Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include pain, aching and stiffness in the thigh, buttocks, or groin. A recent CDC study found that 1 in 4 people may develop symptomatic hip osteoarthritis by age 85. This report, published in the November 2010 issue of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, is the first to present lifetime risk estimates for symptomatic hip osteoarthritis.

No one is spared the burden of symptomatic hip osteoarthritis.

Lifetime risk is 1 in 4, and is the same for —

• Men and women

• Blacks and whites

• Any educational level

• Any body mass weight

Hip joint replacement surgery is an effective way of reducing pain and increasing physical function among people with disabling hip osteoarthritis. Even though the lifetime risk of hip osteoarthritis is the same for blacks and whites, previous studies have shown that hip joint replacements are less common among blacks compared with whites. This points to a disparity in health care delivery and utilization. Besides surgery, people with painful hip arthritis can reduce pain and improve their physical functioning through simple physical activity. Walking, riding a bike, or swimming are all safe and effective ways to start reducing arthritis pain today. Learn more about managing arthritis pain.


Murphy LB, Helmick CG, Schwartz TA, Renner JB, Tudor G, Koch GG, Dragomir AD, Kalsbeek WD, Luta G, Jordan JM. One in four people may develop symptomatic hip osteoarthritis in his or her lifetime. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2010;18(11):1372–9. abstract


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