Arthritis and associated factors in older adults in South Africa
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Arthritis is one of the more prevalent chronic conditions and a leading cause of disability in the elderly. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and to identify the factors associated with arthritis in a national probability sample of older South Africans who participated in the Study of Global Ageing and Adults Health (SAGE) in 2008. We conducted a national population-based cross-sectional study with a sample of 3840 aged 50 years or older in South Africa in 2008. The questionnaire included socio-demographic characteristics, health variables, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the association of sociodemographic factors, health variables and arthritis. Overall 24.7% had self-reported diagnosed arthritis, 28.4% symptom-based arthritis; and of those who had self-reported diagnosed arthritis 77.3% were undergoing routine ongoing therapy in the past 12 months and 67.6% were under current therapy (in past 2 weeks) for arthritis. In multivariable analysis female gender, Coloured, Indian or Asian population group, other illness or chronic conditions (Stroke, Depression, Sleeping problem, Diabetes and Obesity), poorer subjective health status, greater activity limitations and low quality of life were associated with self-reported arthritis. Considering the paucity of similar studies addressing the impact of arthritis in
Africa, these findings may be applied to similar communities and support better planning of resource allocations to minimize the effects of arthritis among the elderly.