Women Aged Over 85 Have Higher Prevalence Of Arthritis And Joint Pain

A new study finds that the lifetime prevalence of arthritis is 65.4% in individuals aged 85, with women impacted more than men.

According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, while arthritis is strongly connected with age, few investigations have studied how the oldest individuals (those aged 85+ years) are affected by the disease.

The study looked at over 1,000 individuals aged 85 years old and revealed that for any arthritis the lifetime prevalence was high, with 65.4% of the participants having arthritis. According to Slome, the researchers discovered that the disease was more common in women than men: 69.1% vs 58.8%.

Osteoarthritis the researchers found was most prevalent in the knee joint followed by the hip and hand. A percentage of those participating in the study identified the knee as the most painful joint, even though the foot, ankle and lower back received the highest pain score.

With the exception of the shoulder and foot, for all joints women reported a higher average pain score.

The study was published today in the journal Age and Ageing. According to AALTCI, arthritis is the fourth leading cause of long term care insurance claims for nursing home care, following Alzheimer’s, nervous system conditions and stroke.

“With more Americans living into their 80s and beyond, having a long term care plan in place is more important than ever,” declares Slome. “Most people wait too long to consider their options because the right time to plan is prior to turning age 65.”

For more information on long term care insurance, visit the Association’s Consumer Information center that can be accessed at http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/.

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