One of the most problematic illnesses that began to drastically rise in the last few decades is the knee osteoarthritis. This condition is very painful and demanding. And no wonder, since the bones begin to rub against each other causing certain types of pain to appear. More surprising is the fact that during the last 50 years, the number of people who suffer from this condition almost doubled. This is why scientists are trying to figure out the factors that caused the rise.
Almost two out of ten people in America over the age of 45 suffer from this condition. Up until recently, normal aging and the obesity were believed to have been the main risk factors which eventually led to knee osteoarthritis. However, recent research shows something different. From the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we found out that the two couldn’t have possibly led to it.
Ian Wallace and some of his paleoanthropologist colleagues analyzed the “wearing down” process and the bones from some post-industrial [era] skeletons, in order to identify the exact cause. Using the regression analysis they started with the common assumption, namely that obesity and aging are the causes. After months of examinations and analyses, they weren’t able to offer a proper explanation. Unfortunately, the only precise thing the results showed is the fact that during the last period of time this disease has reached new highs.
The causes remain unidentified, scientists couldn’t come to an exact conclusion, and this is why they are still running tests and examining skeletons from different periods of time. They still claim that obesity and aging might have a role in the apparition of knee osteoarthritis but they do not know to what extent. Of course, the rest of the causes remain unknown, but the examinations won’t be stopped until we have an answer.