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Original Research

Prevalence and medicinal practices for osteoarthritis in Western India

Haresh A Desai, Rima B Shah, Heeya Shah, Keval Thakkar.


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disorder of joints worldwide, the study of regional specific prevalence and management of OA would provide a deep insight toward implementation of better preventive strategies.

Aim and Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate prevalence of OA and its current management practices followed in western India.

Materials and Methods: A total of 221 patients of ≥40 years were enrolled in a cross-sectional observational questionnaire-based study. Their demographic and disease-related parameters such as duration of disease, type and number of joints involved, symptoms, clinical presentation, and treatment-related details such as type of therapy, drugs used, fixed-dose combinations (FDCs), use of complementary and alternative system of medicine (CAM), and reasons for its use were recorded and analyzed.

Results: OA was found to be prevalent in 82% of the study population with significantly higher 57.93% patients in the age group of 61–70 years and female preponderance (64.63% vs. 35.37%; P < 0.05). Housewives of urban area were significantly more affected by OA (P < 0.05). The most common symptoms were joint pain (100%), restricted movement (60.98%) followed by swollen joints (36.59%) and knee joint was most frequently affected (75.61%). Mean visual analog scale score for the satisfaction of the treatment for OA is 6.67 ± 1.12. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were used by 97.5% of patients, and FDCs of NSAIDs were used by (50%) which is irrational. Self-medication was practiced by 17.01% and nearly 75% of OA patients were using allopathy and CAM medication simultaneously. The most common reason for using CAM was perceived fear of development of side effects by long-term use of allopathic medications.

Conclusion: OA is a highly prevalent disease with progressive age and female preponderance with no complete satisfactory results with any existing therapies. Combined approach with allopathy and CAM can be an effective strategy for OA patients.

Key words: Osteoarthritis; Knee Joint; Drug Treatment for Osteoarthritis; Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Osteoarthritis

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