New research has linked a person’s occupation and an increased risk of developing knee OA or osteoarthritis.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the UK and Australia wanted to determine whether the job you do impacts your risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee. The goal was to identify occupations which may carry a higher risk, and better understand how workplace exposure links to knee OA.
Here, we’ll look at what the researchers found and how occupation can affect your risk factor of developing this painful condition.
Understanding the study
The latest study was carried out by researchers from Oxford, Southampton and Sydney universities. They looked at data from the UK and the US in the largest observational study of its kind. It revealed that an increasing workload was associated with a higher risk of knee OA, particularly for men.
Compared to sedentary workers, men were found to be two times more likely to suffer with knee OA. In contrast, there were no patterns associated with women. Researchers suggest this is because men often carry out more physical work, even when they have the same job as women.
This study included a broad range of occupations, including light and moderate workloads. Interestingly, it suggested that a light workload could protect workers from requiring a total knee replacement. In conclusion, a link was identified between a heavy workload and the risk of knee OA.
Which jobs pose the biggest threat?
The findings of the study, published in the Arthritis Care and Research journal, revealed the riskiest jobs in terms of knee OA. It was discovered that construction and agricultural workers, miners, houseworkers and service workers were the most likely to develop the condition.
Understanding the occupations which pose the biggest threat is crucial in the fight to prevent knee OA. Workers within these industries can take appropriate measures to reduce their risk.
What is knee OA?
Knee OA is short for knee osteoarthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease and it most commonly affects older men and women due to wear and tear. There are two types of the condition, known as primary and secondary.
It is estimated that by 2050, around 130 million people will suffer with some form of osteoarthritis. Earlier this month, we marked World Arthritis Day, helping to spread awareness of this debilitating condition. It is thought that the rate of osteoarthritis has increased by more than 50% over the past 15 years.
The most common symptom of knee OA is pain. Stiffness, tenderness, swelling and loss of flexibility are also common signs of the condition. It is becoming an increasing concern in the workplace, causing thousands of workers to take time off due to the condition.
This new study reveals an interesting link between certain occupations and the prevalence of knee OA. Those working in high-risk sectors should take measures to protect their knees in order to prevent the condition from developing. For more advice on managing knee OA, call 08450 60 44 99.