About a third of people aged 40 to 59 have evidence of moderate or severe degenerative disc disease, and more than half have moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the spine, according to a recent study from the Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research and Boston Medical Center, both in Massachusetts.
This study involved analysis of data on 1,200 participants in the Framingham Study, a collection of health data dating back to the 1940s. The researchers evaluated the severity of disc disease and osteoarthritis in spinal CT scans taken six years apart and concluded that degenerative disc disease and spinal osteoarthritis are significant problems beginning in middle age.
In addition to the results above, they also found a two- to four-fold increase in disc height narrowing and joint osteoarthritis in people 60 to 69 and 70 to 89, respectively. According to the researchers, progression of these bone and joint conditions occurred 40 to 70 percent more often in women than men.
Diane is a Senior Content Producer at Remedy Health Media, LLC. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.