Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: poor physical performance (PP) is known to be associated with disability, lower quality of life and higher mortality rates. Knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) might be expected to contribute to poor PP, through joint pain and restricted range of movement. Both clinical and self-reported OA are often used for large-scale community and epidemiological studies. OBJECTIVE: to examine the relationships between hip and knee OA and PP in a large data set comprising cohorts from six European countries. METHODS: a total of 2,942 men and women aged 65-85 years from the Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK were recruited. Assessment included an interview and clinical assessment for OA. PP was determined from walking speed, chair rises and balance (range 0-12); low PP was defined as a score of ≤9. RESULTS: the mean (SD) age was 74.2 (5.1) years. Rates of self-reported OA were much higher than clinical OA. Advanced age, female gender, lower educational attainment, abstinence from alcohol and higher body mass index were independently associated with low PP. Clinical knee OA, hip OA or both were associated with a higher risk of low PP; OR (95% CI) 2.93 (2.36, 3.64), 3.79 (2.49, 5.76) and 7.22 (3.63, 14.38), respectively, with relationships robust to adjustment for the confounders above as well as pain. CONCLUSION: lower limb OA at the hip and knee is associated with low PP, and for clinical diagnosis relationships are robust to adjustment for pain. Those at highest risk have clinical OA at both sites.

Original publication




Journal article


Age ageing

Publication Date





806 - 813


European, older people, osteoarthritis, physical performance, prevalence, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arthralgia, Chi-Square Distribution, Europe, Female, Gait, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Odds Ratio, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Physical Examination, Postural Balance, Predictive Value of Tests, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Self Report, Walking