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Osteoarthritis and social disadvantage interactions: retrospective overview and emergent findings and health implications

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Osteoarthritis, a widespread arthritic disease commonly resulting in considerable pain and functional disability is often found to vary among those deemed affected. While age, gender, and genetics commonly explain this, what does the research show specifically in terms of extrinsic factors such as social disadvantage? This report aimed to update what is known about the social context and its role as a possible remediable osteoarthritis disability determinant if suboptimal. Using the PUBMED data base and others, osteoarthritis studies published between January 1, 2000 and March 20, 2024 concerning possible social disadvantage linkages were sought and carefully examined. As well, data drawn from the researcher’s repository were reviewed. The search results revealed a growing interest in this topic where osteoarthritis can be observed to be negatively influenced in the face of one or more forms of social deprivation. Yet, very few clinical trials prevail to either test the validity of this idea or apply these understandings to preventing suffering. In light of the increasing osteoarthritis burden, despite years of research, it appears that to maximize wellbeing for all, and to limit or obviate unwanted osteoarthritis associated health and disability costs, more resounding research along with a focus on advancing social equity and mitigating all forms of social deprivation is strongly indicated.


aging, disability, economics, equity, evidence, osteoarthritis, social deprivation, social disadvantage, pain