It was reported earlier this year at the World Congress of Osteoarthritis that subjects with symptomatic and x-ray evidence of knee osteoarthritis have a 17% increased risk of premature mortality. The study included nearly 12,000 patients and this increased risk was independent of age, sex and race. Although the reason for these premature deaths has not been fully identified, the majority of the deaths seem to be related to cardiovascular causes.
As a footnote, the decrease in mobility in these patients may be the most likely cause for the increase in mortality.
This should highlight the fact that patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis should make every attempt to get aerobic exercise through low impact exercise such as walking, swimming or upper body arm exercising.