Stem Cells from Adipose Tissue
Executive summary: Osteoarthritis and Demographics
Among the various forms of degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common and represents a painful chronic condition that can affect any synovial joint. Disease prevalence is increasing in parallel with an aging population and will impose significant socioeconomic burden over the coming decades. Arthritis is the most common source of disability among adults in the United States; in 2003, the disease afflicted 50 million Americans and this number is expected to increase to 67 million by 2030. The cost attributable to arthritis in the United States in 2003 was $128 billion, a figure that will certainly increase in conjunction with health care cost inflation and the number of patients projected to be afflicted with degenerative joint disease. Complicating this reality are the limited treatment options for OA. No pharmaceutical or non-operative therapies have demonstrated unequivocal efficacy in reversing or halting disease progression, restricting therapy to long-term management of exacerbating factors and pain control.