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Can You Die From Osteoarthritis & Life Expectancy Of Someone With It?

Osteoarthritis refers to a condition, which affects various joints present in our body. It especially affects the joints, which bear a majority of the weight, like ankle and knees. Whenever a joint develops the problem of osteoarthritis, a specific part of cartilage becomes thin to cause the surface rough. This means that the joint no longer remains smooth, as it should be. If the cartilage causes damage or wears out, each of the tissues present in the joint becomes highly active than regular, as the body puts its efforts to recover the damage. The repairing procedure changes the joint structure and allows it to function normally that too without any stiffness and pain. Many people develop osteoarthritis in specific joints as they become old. However, many people do not remain aware of it.(1)

Can You Die From Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative condition and hence, if you leave it untreated, it becomes worse with time. Even though death associated with osteoarthritis is rare, it is a major factor to causes disability among elder people. According to the mortality rate analysis conducted in various middle-aged women suffering from the problem of osteoarthritis.

Doctors determined that there was a close association between early cardiovascular plus all-cause mortalities and knee osteoarthritis. Women suffering from knee osteoarthritis remain at two times of higher risk related to early death and three times higher risk related to cardiovascular death than other women have. However, none of the doctors has found any strong link between hand osteoarthritis and an increase in mortality rate.

Another research study has revealed that severe type of knee osteoarthritis i.e. both radiographic and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis have a close association with an increase in risk related to death. Death can happen even after you make certain adjustments related to body size, smoking, and specific co-morbidities. Researchers have also proved that the mentioned facts are applicable for both symptomatic and large joint radiographic types of osteoarthritis.(2)(3)

Life Expectancy Of Someone With Osteoarthritis?

Until now, none of the experts has obtained any evidence about osteoarthritis to reduce the overall life expectancy. A few of the research studies have revealed that people suffering from osteoarthritis have a relatively high mortality rate as compared to others without osteoarthritis. However, the mentioned studies have accomplished osteoarthritis with other factors or lifestyles, like cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure to contribute to a high rate of mortality.(4)

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

Pain and stiffness in various affected joints are the two common symptoms related to osteoarthritis. The pain tends to become worse while you move the joints or when your day ends. Your joints also feel stiff after you take rest, but it usually wears off quickly once you start a movement. Symptoms may vary without any strong reason and they may even depend on whatever activities you perform. The affected joints may sometimes swell and the swelling may take place because of-

  • Growth of additional bones in your joints
  • Softness takes place by joint lining thickness and accumulation of extra fluid in joints

Joints fail to move in a normal way or free and it may create crackling or grating sounds while you move your body. In some of the cases, muscles across your joints may appear as wasted or thin. In some cases, joints give ways, as the muscles become weak or the joint structure becomes relatively less stable.(1)


To conclude, we should say that people suffering from knee osteoarthritis remain at high risk of death. However, osteoarthritis combined with other factors or lifestyles may determine the life expectancy of a patient suffering from osteoarthritis.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 21, 2020

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