Workers in certain jobs face increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis

Workers in jobs that typically involve heavy lifting, frequent climbing, prolonged kneeling, squatting, and standing face an increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. That's the conclusion of a new analysis published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Knee osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent, chronic condition and one of the leading contributors to loss of work and disability. To see if certain jobs put individuals at higher risk, investigators analyzed the results of relevant studies published to date.

The combined results from 71 studies with over 950,000 participants revealed significantly higher odds of knee osteoarthritis in physically demanding job titles including farmers, builders, metal workers, floor layers, miners, cleaners, and service workers. Compared with sedentary (or low physically active) workers, agricultural workers had up to a 64% increased odds of knee osteoarthritis. Similarly, builders and floor layers had a 63% increased odds of knee osteoarthritis.

This collaborative research informs workplace regulators by identifying people frequently involved in specific work activities who may be susceptible to knee osteoarthritis, the most common joint disorder worldwide. Thus, tailored preventive strategies need to be implemented early on to adapt the aging workforces in many countries that push for longer employment trajectories."

Xia Wang, MMed, Ph.D., Lead Author, University of Sydney, in Australia

Journal reference:

Wang, X., et al. (2020) Occupational risk in knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of observational studies. Arthritis Care & Research.


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