Ueda K, Takura T, Fujikoshi S, Meyers J, Nagar SP, Enomoto H. Longitudinal assessment of pain management among the employed Japanese population with knee osteoarthritis. Clin Interv Aging. 2020 Jun 26;2020(15):1003-12. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S242083

PURPOSE: To assess comorbidity burden and pain-management patterns among working-aged patients with knee osteoarthritis only (KOA/O) and patients with knee osteoarthritis plus osteoarthritis at another site (KOA/+) in Japan.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective claims data analysis was conducted using the Japan Medical Data Center database. Working-aged adults (aged 40 to 71 years) with 5 years of follow-up and diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012, were evaluated. The first claim with a KOA diagnosis defined the index date. Patients were divided into two mutually exclusive cohorts: KOA/O and KOA/+. Longitudinal pain-management patterns during each year of follow-up were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 2542 patients met study criteria: 1575 KOA/O and 967 KOA/+. Mean age and number of comorbidities were higher among the KOA/+ versus KOA/O cohort. Pharmaceutical treatment was received by 91.5% of patients in the KOA/+ compared with 85.1% of patients in the KOA/O cohort during the first year of follow-up. The most common pharmacological treatment received during the first year of follow-up was either topical or oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for both cohorts. During each year of follow-up, the KOA/+ cohort had greater proportion of patients with at least one health-care encounter (ie, hospital admissions, outpatient and pharmacy visits) and higher direct medical costs compared with the KOA/O cohort.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that a greater proportion of the working population with KOA/+ received pain-related treatment compared with patients with KOA/O. Further studies are necessary to evaluate appropriate pain management for both KOA only and KOA with other sites.

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