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Common comorbidities

This article discusses comorbidities that are often found with people living with osteoarthritis
Common comorbidities graphic

In Australia, according to the ABS National Health Survey (2014–15), among people with OA:

  • 51% reported also having cardiovascular disease compared with 15% of people without OA
  • 35% reported also having back problems compared with 14% of people without OA
  • 18% reported also having mental health problems compared with 11% of people without OA.

Common comorbidities bar graph

The presence of comorbidities in patients with OA can impact treatment choices, particularly pharmacological therapies:

  • The use of oral NSAIDs is often limited due to the increased risk of adverse effects in patients with common comorbidities.
  • Many nonpharmacological treatments for knee OA (such as weight management, exercise and physical activity, and psychological interventions) may potentially have a dual benefit for other comorbidities.

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Physiotherapy Exercise and Physical Activity for Knee Osteoarthritis (PEAK)

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