There are several reports from Europe and the United States on mortality from musculoskeletal degenerative diseases; however, no reports have been published from Japan. This study is the first that has examined whether musculoskeletal degenerative diseases affect life prognosis in Japan. As many as 944 persons who were 60 years of age and older and who underwent one or more musculoskeletal checkups (knee, lower back, and bone mineral density examination) were enrolled. Survival and death after 10 years were examined. For each knee, lower back, and bone mineral density examination, subjects were divided into normal and abnormal groups. For each of the examinations (knee, lower back, or bone mineral density), 10-year mortality was compared between the two groups. Also, causes of death were examined after 10 years. As many as 805 subjects survived and 125 died. For those with and without osteoarthritis of the knee, mortality after 10 years was 17 and 10%, respectively. For those with and without lower back abnormalities, mortality after 10 years was 12 and 14%, respectively. For those with or without low bone mineral density, mortality after 10 years was 17 and 10%, respectively. Multivariate analysis adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, and lifestyle revealed that odds ratio of death after 10 years was 2.32 and 2.33 in the presence of osteoarthritis of the knee and a low bone mineral density, respectively, and thus the risk of death after 10 years was significantly high. With regard to the cause of death, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases were most frequently evident in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Musculoskeletal degenerative diseases influence mortality after 10 years.
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