Women Suffer from Knee Osteoarthritis Twice as much as Men
By Vince Catteruccia, MSc, FAAPM, NASM-PES, NMT
Why women suffer from knee osteoarthritis nearly twice as much as men – and undergo twice as many knee joint replacement surgeries – is not completely known. Some significant findings might clear up some of the questions:
¨ Hormonal factors – due to the incidence of occurrence happening in women after the age of 50, which is consistent with the onset of menopause.
¨ A woman’s knee position over the ankle and under the hip tends to be in a less stable position than in men.
¨ Footwear differences in women vs. men are significant. Women’s choices tend to be less supportive and more demanding on the knee joint.
¨ Just the difference between a stiletto-heeled shoe compared to a wide-based high-heeled shoe provides more stability.
¨ Knee bending and squatting is especially relevant to women (associated with childcare and homemaking). This is simply due to less strength in the quadriceps (thighs) and overall hip stability.
¨ Being overweight compounds all the above factors, for every pound of extra weight over the normal body mass index of 25 or greater adds 6x more load across the knee.
Overall, the potential risk difference between women and men is clinically unknown. However using the listed potential factors it would make good sense to address these concerns to reduce a woman’s chance of developing OA of the knee.