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Common comorbidities

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

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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