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Prevalence and treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis in people aged 60 years or older in Germany: an analysis based on health insurance claims data

Authors Postler A, Luque Ramos A, Goronzy J, Günther K-P, Lange T, Schmitt J, Zink A, Hoffmann F

Received 20 May 2018

Accepted for publication 20 September 2018

Published 14 November 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2339—2349


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Anne Postler,1 Andres Luque Ramos,2 Jens Goronzy,1 Klaus-Peter Günther,1 Toni Lange,3 Jochen Schmitt,3 Angela Zink,4 Falk Hoffmann2

1University Center of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Medicine Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany; 2Department of Health Services Research, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany; 3Center for Evidence Based Healthcare, Medical Faculty, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany; 4Epidemiology Unit, German Rheumatism Research Centre, Berlin, Germany

Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is highly prevalent throughout the world, especially in the elderly population, and is strongly associated with patients’ frailty. However, little is known about the prevalence and treatment of OA in elderly patients in routine clinical care in Germany.
Materials and methods: As a part of Linking Patient-Reported Outcomes with CLAIms Data for Health Services Research in Rheumatology (PROCLAIR), a cross-sectional study using claims data from a large Germany statutory health insurance (BARMER) was conducted. We included people aged 60 years or older and assessed the prevalence of OA of the hip or knee, defined as having outpatient diagnoses (ICD: M16 or M17) in at least two quarters of 2014. The use of conservative treatment, including analgesics and physical therapy, and total joint replacement was studied. Analyses were stratified by age, sex, comorbidities, and level of care dependency defined by social law.
Results: A total of 595,754 patients (mean age: 74.9 years; 69.8% female) were diagnosed with OA (21.8%), with the highest prevalence in those between 80 and 89 years (31.0%) and in females compared to males (23.9% vs 18.3%). Prevalence decreased with increasing level of care dependency from 30.5% in patients with a low level (0/1) to 18.7% in the highest level of care dependency. A total of 63.4% of the patients with OA received analgesics, with higher use with increasing age. Physical therapy was prescribed to 43.1% of the patients, but use decreased with age. In all, 5.3% of the patients received total joint replacement in 2014.
Conclusion: The lower frequency of coded OA with increasing level of care dependency may reflect underdiagnosis, and patients with many other medical problems seem to be at risk for inadequate recognition and treatment of their OA.

osteoarthritis, total joint replacement, health services research, aged, analgesics, frail elderly

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