9nong/ShutterstockOne in five adults in the United States suffers from arthritis. Although the condition is not an inevitability and there ways to treat it (even at home), it still remains one of the most afflicting health conditions in the United States. Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most prevalent forms of arthritis, and according to a new study, it’s afflicting more people now than ever before.
A new study from Harvard University analyzed skeletons from across the past several centuries to take a deeper look at the frequency and causes of knee osteoarthritis. The findings showed that since 1950, the rate of knee osteoarthritis has doubled.
Additionally, the study found that humans from the early industrial period and before (dating back to prehistory) had rates of the condition from around six to eight percent, while skeletons from the post-industrial period had the condition at a rate of 18 percent.
The analysis found that aging and obesity were not factors contributing factors to the spike in the condition in the mid 20th century. This discovery may actually be a positive sign, as this could mean that the condition is more easy to prevent than previously thought.