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Prevalence of osteoarthritis in lower middle- and low-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yahaya, Ismail, Wright, Tanya, Babatunde, Opeyemi O., Corp, Nadia, Helliwell, Toby, Dikomitis, Lisa, Mallen, Christian D. (2021) Prevalence of osteoarthritis in lower middle- and low-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology International, 41 (7). pp. 1221-1231. ISSN 0172-8172. (doi:10.1007/s00296-021-04838-y) (KAR id:96918)


Evidence from the Global Burden of Disease studies suggests that osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant cause of disability globally; however, it is less clear how much of this burden exists in low-income and lower middle-income countries. This study aims to determine the prevalence of OA in people living in low-income and lower middle-income countries. Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Web of Science) were systematically searched from inception to October 2018 for population-based studies. We included studies reporting the prevalence of OA among people aged 15 years and over in low-income and lower middle-income countries. The prevalence estimates were pooled across studies using random effects meta-analysis. Our study was registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42018112870.The search identified 7414 articles, of which 356 articles were selected for full text assessment. 34 studies were eligible and included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of OA was 16·05% (95% confidence interval (CI) 12·55–19·89), with studies demonstrating a substantial degree of heterogeneity (I2 = 99·50%). The pooled prevalence of OA was 16.4% (CI 11·60–21.78%) in South Asia, 15.7% (CI 5·31–30·25%) in East Asia and Pacific, and 14.2% (CI 7·95–21·89%) in Sub Saharan Africa. The meta-regression analysis showed that publication year, study sample size, risk of bias score and country-income categories were significantly associated with the variations in the prevalence estimates. The prevalence of OA is high in low-income and lower middle-income countries, with almost one in six of the study participants reported to have OA. With the changing population demographics and the shift to the emergence of non-communicable diseases, targeted public health strategies are urgently needed to address this growing epidemic in the aging population.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s00296-021-04838-y
Uncontrolled keywords: osteoarthritis, prevalence, low-income and lower middle-income countries
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Funders: National Institute for Health Research (
Depositing User: Rachael Heller
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 15:09 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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