Ageing and Incidence of Osteoarthritis of the Knee Joint, Lumbar and Cervical Spine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
It has been observed that the most frequently reported disorder of the elderly is osteoarthritis associated with aging. The elderly thus tend to use health services more often. This study examined the incidence, age and gender distribution of osteoarthritis of the knee joint, lumbar and cervical spine among the elderly at the University of Ibadan Health Centre. The study adopted a non-experimental descriptive design. The study population consisted of adults aged 45-85 years diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The respondents consisted of 209 males and 277 females. Retrospective records of cases of osteoarthritis between July 2007 and June 2008 were retrieved with permission. Data was analysed using the chi-square test to determine the relationship between gender, age and occurrence of osteoarthritis. The results showed that the incidence of osteoarthritis in the lumbar spine was the highest – 175 (36%), followed by the cervical spine – 159 (32.7%), and the knee joint–152 (31.3%). There was a significant difference in the distribution of osteoarthritis between gender and within the age groups (P=0.000). Osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine was the highest in males within the age groups of 61-65, followed by 45- 50, 56 - 60, and 51 - 55; whereas in the females, osteoarthritis of the knee joint was the highest within the age groups of 56 - 60, followed by 45 - 50, 61 - 65, 81 - 85 and 71-75. The incidence of osteoarthritis seemed the same in males and females but the distribution varied between gender and within age groups. It was recommended that further studies should be considered in the area of the relationship between the nature of job and incidence of osteoarthritis to find out why osteoarthritis of the knee joint, the lumbar and cervical spine are peculiar to some individuals.