Hospitalizations for osteoarthritis (OA) soared from about 322,000 in 1993 to 735,000 in 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AHRQ’s analysis of arthritis hospitalizations found:

• In 2006, OA was the principal diagnosis for about 90% of 547,000 knee surgery hospitalizations and about 50% of hip replacement hospitalizations.

• Also in 2006, 45-64 year olds accounted for 38% of all OA, compared with 25% in 1997. Women accounted for 63% of hospitalizations for OA in 2006, a number that is essentially unchanged since 1997.

• Most of the increase in OA hospitalizations occurred beginning in 2000, when OA stays rose from 443,000 to 735,000, a 66% increase.

• The large increase in OA hospitalizations is primarily related to the increase in knee replacement surgery. From 2000 to 2006, knee replacement surgery increased 65% while hip replacement surgery increased 21%.

The AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data in HCUP Facts and Figures, 2006. The document highlights the latest data from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a part of AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

More information about OA, including the comparisons of the risks and benefits of OA pain medications, is available from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care consumer guide, at Choosing Pain Medicine for Osteoarthritis.

[Source: Newswise]