Temporal trend and regional disparity in osteoarthritis hospitalisations in Sweden 1998-2015

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AIM: This study investigated time trend and regional disparities in hospitalisations due to osteoarthritis (OA) among people aged ≥20 years in Sweden from 1998 through 2015.

METHODS: National and regional data on hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of OA were collected from the National Patient Register. The absolute and relative regional disparities were assessed using the absolute weighted mean difference from overall mean and the index of disparity. We applied joinpoint regression for temporal trend analysis of hospitalisations and the Mann-Kendall trend test for disparity measures. Changes in number of OA hospitalisations between 1998-2000 and 2013-2015 were analysed using two counterfactual scenarios.

RESULTS: During 1998-2015, OA hospitalisations constituted 2.0% of all hospitalisations, with higher proportions among women (58.7%) and those aged 70-74 years (18.0%). The age-standardised rate of OA hospitalisation and its proportions from all and musculoskeletal disorders hospitalisations rose, on average, by >2.0% per year during the study period. OA hospitalisation rates rose statistically significantly in all age groups except for the youngest and oldest age groups. The proportion of hip OA from all OA hospitalisations declined, while the opposite was observed for knee OA. The relative regional disparities declined in men, and the absolute regional disparities rose among women over time. The population growth and ageing could explain only about one third of the observed increases in the absolute number of OA hospitalisations between 1998-2000 and 2013-2015.

CONCLUSIONS: OA hospitalisations have increased substantially, suggesting the need to improve OA prevention and primary-care management in Sweden.


External organisations
  • St George's, University of London
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Boston University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics


  • Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number53-60
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Mar 26
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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