Does decrease in walking speed increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis?

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Does decrease in walking speed increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading cause of disability. Walking speed is an essential indicator of functional limitation. Individuals with symptomatic OA (sOA) are at high risk of rapid declines in walking speed.

This study was executed to analyze the relationship between change in walking speed over 12-months and risk of instigating radiographic knee osteoarthritis (rKOA) over a period of 24-months.

To solve the basis of the study, Herzog MM and fellow researchers considered participants without rKOA from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. The variation in the walking speed was ascertained from a 20-m walk assessment. It was calculated using walking speed at 12-month follow-up minus baseline speed and/or 24-month follow-up walking speed minus 12-month speed. Within 24 months, the Kellgren-Lawrence arthritis grading scale ≥ 2 used to define the incident rKOA. Age, BMI, self-reported significant knee injury during the exposure period, and Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) score were modified analytically.

This study included 2638 observations among 1460 unique participants (58% women; aged 59 ± 9 yrs, range 45-79). Over 12 months, the mean change in walking speed over 12 months was 0.001 ± 0.13 m/s. It was found that approx. 5% of the sample (n = 122) developed rKOA over a period of 24 months. Also, an 8% relative increase in the risk of developing rKOA for every 0.1 m/s decrease in walking speed over a 12-month period was noticed after managing for significant knee injury, age, BMI, and PASE score.

The study concluded that evaluation of change in speed over 12 months using a 20-m walk test might be significant to identify individuals at high risk of developing rKOA over the subsequent 24 months.

The medical providers can execute early interventions to maximize joint health due to the disclosure of high-risk patients for developing rKOA.


J Rheumatol. 2017 Jun 1

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Risk of Knee Osteoarthritis Over 24 Months in Individuals Who Decrease Walking Speed During a 12-Month Period: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative


Herzog MM et al.

Exploratory, Knee osteoarthritis, Knee, Kellgren-Lawrence arthritis grading scale, Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) score
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