If you thought diabetes was the most prevalent ailment affecting Indians, you could be wrong. While much has been said about the high incidence of diabetes, HIV and cancer in India, a recent study suggests that osteoarthritis beats them all to claim the No. 1 spot among ailments in the country.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis and the leading cause of disability in India, affects over 15 million Indians each year.
India has the second largest osteoarthritis patient base with women forming a large chunk of this population
The high incidence of osteoarthritis in India is the result of its prevalence among women who fall victim to it. Menopausal women are especially prone to it. The disease is, however, not restricted to women, although diabetes and hypertension remain the most prevalent ailments among men.
About 20 years ago, osteoarthritis was known as a disease of the elderly affecting those above the age of 65 years. However, Orthopedicians are increasingly diagnosing younger people in the age group of 35 – 55.
Several reasons can be attributed to this trend globally and in India including growing obesity, sedentary lifestyle, dependence on unhealthy and junk food and a vitamin D deficiency.