epidemiology of knee pain

Last reviewed 01/2018

Knee pain is a common complaint amongst the elderly population

  • osteoarthritis is responsible for majority of knee pain in older adults (1)
  • according to a recent survey done in UK general population of aged 50 + years (with 6792 respondents with knee pain),
    • the prevalence of pain 'in or around the knee' in the last 12 months was 47%
  • the prevalence was slightly higher in females than in males which was more marked with increasing age e.g. - in people over-75 years, the number of females with reported knee pain in the last 12 months was 51% while in males it was 37.9%
    • GP consultation for knee pain in the last 12 months was 33% (2)

In the general population (16 years of age or older), the prevalence of knee pain (lasting for more than 1 week in the past month) was 19%

  • prevalence is increased with age in both males and females
  • the age standardised prevalence was similar in both sexes but in those aged over 45 years, the prevalence was higher in women than in men (3).