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Reumatol Clin. 2014 May-Jun;10(3):152-9. doi: 10.1016/j.reuma.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Characterization of knee osteoarthritis in Latin America. A comparative analysis of clinical and health care utilization in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

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  • 1Hospital General de México and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, Mexico. Electronic address:
  • 2Hospital General Dr. Miguel Silva, Morelia, Mexico.
  • 3School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
  • 4Federal University of São Carlos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 5Hospital Provincial de Rosario y Sanatorio Parque, Rosario, Argentina.
  • 6McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • 7Hospital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.
  • 8Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 9Laboratoires Expanscience, Courbevoie, France.



The burden of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in Latin America is unknown.


To determine the demographic, clinical, and therapeutic characteristics of patients with OA in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.


This is an observational, cross-sectional study of patients with symptomatic knee OA referred from first care medical centers to Rheumatology departments.


We included 1210 patients (Argentina 398, Brazil 402, Mexico 410; mean age 61.8 [12] years; 80.8% females). Knee OA pain lasted for 69 months; the duration and severity of the last episode were 190 days and (SD 5.2 [3.3]; 74% had functional limitations, but very few patients lost their job because of knee OA. Around 71% had taken medications, but 63% relied on their own pocket to afford knee OA cost. Most demographic and clinical variables differed across countries, particularly the level of pain, disability, treatment, and access to care. The variable country of origin influenced the level of pain, disability, and NSAIDs use in logistic regression models; age, pain, treatment, and health care access influenced at least 2 of the models.


The burden of knee OA in Latin American depends on demographic, clinical, and therapeutic variables. The role of such variables differs across countries. The level of certain variables is significantly influenced by country of origin and health care system.


Health care needs and demand; Knee; Necesidades y demanda de atención de salud; Osteoarthritis; Osteoartritis; Rodilla

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