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A Decline in Walking Speed is Associated with Incident Knee Replacement in Adults with and at Risk for Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Harkey, Matthew S.
  • Lapane, Kate L.
  • Liu, Shao-Hsien
  • Lo, Grace H.
  • McAlindon, Timothy E.
  • Driban, Jeffrey B.
Publication Date
Jun 15, 2020
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OBJECTIVE: To determine if a one-year change in walking speed is associated with receiving an incident knee replacement during the following year in adults with and at risk for knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: Using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, we determined a one-year change in 20- meter walk speed from three observation periods (i.e., 0-12, 12-24, and 24-36 month). We operationally defined one-year change in walking speed as either: 1) decline: < -0.1 m/s change, 2) no change: between -0.1 and 0.1 m/s change, 3) increase: > 0.1 m/s change. Incident knee replacement was defined using each subsequent one-year period (i.e., 12-24, 24- 36, and 36-48 month). Combining data from the three observation periods, we performed a Poisson regression with robust error variance to determine the relative risk between a change in walking speed (exposure) and incident knee replacement over the following year (outcome). RESULTS: Of the 4,264 participants included within this analysis (11,311 total person visits), 115 (3%) adults received a knee replacement. Decline in walking speed was associated with a 104% increase in risk [adjusted relative risk (RR)=2.04; 95% confidence interval (CI)= 1.40-2.98], while an increase in walking speed associated with a 55% decrease in risk (RR=0.45; 95% CI=0.22-0.93) of incident knee replacement in the following year compared to a person with no change in walking speed. CONCLUSION: A one-year decline in walking speed is associated with an increased risk, while one-year increase in walking speed is associated with a decreased risk of future incident knee replacement.

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