A population-based study of changes in arthritis prevalence and arthritis risk factors over time: generational differences and the role of obesity

Authors: Elizabeth M. Badley, DPhil, Mayilee Canizares, MSc, Anthony V. Perruccio, PhD

Published: American College of Rheumatology, American College of Rheumatoloy, Jan 31, 2017


The risk factor for arthritis that has received most attention is obesity.  Arthritis is one of the most frequent chronic conditions with a prevalence, which increases steeply with age.  A consequence of this is that the prevalence of arthritis is expected to increase dramatically with the aging of the baby boomer population.

The self-reported findings from this large Canadian longitudinal study spanning 18 years showed that for people in the same age group, a higher proportion of them in each successive generation reported arthritis than their counterparts in earlier generations. This suggests that over time people are reporting arthritis at a younger age.   In addition, as body weight increased so too did the probability of getting arthritis.