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Front Med (Lausanne). 2017 Nov 8;4:192. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00192. eCollection 2017.

Health and Lifestyles Factors Associated With Osteoarthritis among Older Adults in Portugal.

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Research Unit on Ageing, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Centro de Investigação em Tecnologias e Serviços de Saúde (CINTESIS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
EpiReumaPt Study Group-Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia, Lisboa, Portugal.
EpiDoc Unit-Unidade de Epidemiologia em Doenças Crónicas (CEDOC, NMS/UNL), Unidade de Investigação em Reumatologia, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
EpiReumaPt Study Group-Centro de Estudos de Doenças Crónicas (CEDOC) da NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NMS/UNL), Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental (CHLO-EPE), Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia, Lisbon, Portugal.
EpiReumaPt Study Group-Centro de Estudos de Doenças Crónicas (CEDOC), EpiDoC Unit, NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NMS/UNL), Escola Nacional de Saúde Publica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia, Serviço de Reumatologia do Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte (CHLN-EPE), Lisboa, Portugal.
Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Center for Research on Health and Aging, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States.



This study aimed to identify independent associations of sociodemographic, functionality, physical activity, physical and mental health, and osteoarthritis (OA), among older adults.


A sample of 1,645 older adults (50+ years) observed by rheumatologists, from EpiReumaPt, a population-based study was analyzed. A structured interview included sociodemographic data, chronic non-communicable disease, and physical activity. Functional ability was assessed by the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index; depression and anxiety were assessed by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. OA (knee OA and/or hip OA and/or hand OA) was defined after medical evaluation by rheumatologists according to expert opinion combined with the fulfillment of the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria.


1,059 participants (64.9%) met the OA classification criteria. Statistically significant differences were found between persons with and without OA in all sociodemographic variables, non-communicable diseases, functional status, physical activity, depression, and anxiety. In the unadjusted logistic regression models, all variables were associated with OA. The final adjusted model explained 32% of the variance. Those who are female with higher age, have more than five comorbidities, and lower levels of function and physical activity were more likely to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of OA.


We have analyzed data from a population-based study and found that a diagnosis of OA was independently associated with age, female gender, higher number of comorbidities, physical disability, and low levels of physical activity. These results reinforce the usefulness of the development of a multidimensional assessment to design and test effective interventions for this population.


aging; comorbidity; disability; predictors; rheumatic disease; women

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