Sept. 17, 2020

Osteoarthritis: A Not-So-Silent Killer

The 2020 Cy Frank Legacy Lecturer confronts the burdens of living with osteoarthritis and other chronic health conditions
Dr. Gillian Hawker

Dr. Gillian Hawker, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto delivered the Cy Frank Legacy Lecture to an online audience tuning-in from across Canada and around the globe.

In the lecture, Hawker outlined the burden of osteoarthritis (OA) on the population and discussed new approaches for improving diagnosis and treatment for people with osteoarthritis who are also living with more than one chronic health condition.

“The prevalence of OA is increasing due to the rising incidence of risk factors including obesity, physical inactivity and joint injury from participation in recreational activities. These are also common risk factors of other chronic conditions,” stated Hawker.

Many people living with osteoarthritis also have other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes which can impact mental health and the management of symptoms. “When you’re living with osteoarthritis on top of other health conditions, studies have shown if you’re depressed you have reduced adherence to and effectiveness of treatments for all conditions,” said Hawker. Given the high prevalence of other chronic conditions, Hawker stresses the safest and most effective treatment for hip/knee OA is physical activity.

View the full lecture recording here.