More than half of middle-aged and mature women suffer from knee pain, a new study has revealed.
It found that 63per cent of women age 50 and older reported persistent, incident, or intermittent knee pain during a 12-year study period.
Predictors for persistent pain included higher body mass index (BMI), previous knee injury, and radiographic osteoarthritis (OA).
"Our study is the first community-based investigation of knee pain patterns using multiple assessment points over a 12-year period," said lead author Nigel Arden, MSc, MD, a Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford in the UK.
"Understanding the prevalence and predictors of knee pain is the first step in developing comprehensive pain assessment plans that could lead to more targeted treatment options for those burdened by OA," he noted.
More than 1,000 women between the ages of 44 and 57 years (median age of 52 years) participated in the study.
At the end of the 12-year study, data relating to self-reported knee pain was analysed and used to classify the 489 remaining participants into four pain groups -- asymptomatic, persistent, incident, and intermittent.
The team found a prevalence of 44 percent for "any days of pain" and 23 percent for "pain on most days of the previous month" in the cohort at the end of the study period.
Of those experiencing "any pain" versus "pain on most days," 9 percent and 2 percent had persistent pain; 24 percent and 16 percent had incident pain; and 29 percent and 18 percent had intermittent pain, respectively.
Researchers determined that a higher BMI predicted persistent and incident pain patterns, while radiographic OA was a predictor of persistent pain. Those reporting knee injury were likely to have persistent or intermittent pain patterns.
The findings of the study appeared in Arthritis and Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.