The purpose of this study was to compare three strategies for reducing population health burden of osteoarthritis (OA): improved pharmacological treatment of OA-related pain, improved access to joint replacement surgery, and prevention of OA by reducing obesity and overweight.
We applied a validated computer microsimulation model of OA in Canada. The model simulated a Canadian-representative open population aged 20 years and older. Variables in the model included demographics, body mass index, OA diagnosis, OA treatment, mortality, and health-related quality of life. Model parameters were derived from analyses of national surveys, population-based administrative (claims) data, a hospital-based cohort study, and the literature. We compared 8 what-if intervention scenarios in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) relative to base-case, over a wide range of time horizons.
This is the first population-based comparative study of the potential impact of different burden reduction strategies in OA. Data generated by our simulation model can inform the implementation of strategies to reduce the burden of OA in Canada and elsewhere.