Role of age, sex, and obesity in the higher prevalence of arthritis among lower socioeconomic groups: a population-based survey

Busija, Lucy, Hollingsworth, Bruce, Buchbinder, Rachelle and Osborne, Richard 2007, Role of age, sex, and obesity in the higher prevalence of arthritis among lower socioeconomic groups: a population-based survey, Arthritis care and research, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 553-561, doi: 10.1002/art.22686.

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Title Role of age, sex, and obesity in the higher prevalence of arthritis among lower socioeconomic groups: a population-based survey
Author(s) Busija, Lucy
Hollingsworth, Bruce
Buchbinder, Rachelle
Osborne, RichardORCID iD for Osborne, Richard
Journal name Arthritis care and research
Volume number 57
Issue number 4
Start page 553
End page 561
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Place of publication Malden, Mass.
Publication date 2007-04
ISSN 0893-7524
Keyword(s) prevalence
socioeconomic factors
health surveys
Summary Objective: To compare the prevalence of arthritis among population groups based on demographic, socioeconomic, and body mass index (BMI) characteristics; to investigate the combined influence of these factors on arthritis; and to assess the relationship between self-reported health and psychological distress and arthritis.

Methods: Data from the Victorian Population Health Survey (n = 7,500) were used in the study. Psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress scale, and self-reported health was assessed by a single item. Multiple logistic regression was used to investigate the combined influence of demographic and socioeconomic factors and BMI on arthritis.

Results: Overall, 23% of Victorian adults (20% men and 26% women) reported having arthritis. The presence of arthritis was associated with high psychological distress (odds ratio [OR] 1.2; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.1-1.4) and poor self-reported health (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.7-2.1). Increased prevalence of arthritis was found in older age groups, lower education and income groups, and in people who were overweight or obese. Women had higher risk of arthritis, even after adjustment for age, residence, education, occupation, income, and BMI. Age and BMI independently predicted arthritis for men and women. For men, higher risk of arthritis was also associated with lower income.

Conclusion: Arthritis is a highly prevalent condition associated with poor health and high psychological distress. Prevalence of arthritis is disproportionately high among women and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. As the prevalence of arthritis is predicted to increase, careful consideration of causal factors, and setting priorities for resource allocation for the treatment and prevention of arthritis are required.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/art.22686
Field of Research 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID NHMRC 400391
Copyright notice ©2007, American College of Rheumatology
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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