Journal List > Korean J Health Promot > v.16(3) > 1089885

Korean J Health Promot. 2016 Sep;16(3):145-152. Korean.
Published online September 30, 2016.
Copyright © 2016 Korean Society for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Factors Associated with Knee Pain with Different Grades of Knee Osteoarthritis among Korean Adults Aged 50 Years or More
Eun Young Choi, and Min Jeong Kim
Department of Family Medicine, Dankook Univeristy Hospital, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.

Corresponding author: Eun Young Choi, MD, PhD. Department of Family Medicine, Dankook Univeristy Hospital, Dankook University College of Medicine, 201 Manghyang-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan 31116, Korea. Tel: +82-41-550-3998, Fax: +82-41-550-3998, Email:
Received July 27, 2015; Accepted November 11, 2015.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Discordance between knee pain and radiologic osteoarthritis is well-known. This study was to investigate factors associated with knee pain with different grades of knee osteoarthritis among Korean adults aged 50 years or more.


Total 5,978 Korean aged 50 years or more who underwent the radiographs of the knees were analyzed from Korean National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey conducted in 2010-11. Radiographs of the knees were scored for osteoarthritis using the Kellgren-Lawrence scale. Multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusting for sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, comorbidity and health status was used for analysis.


The prevalence of knee pain was higher in female compared to that of male (P<0.001), and increased as increasing severity of radiologic knee osteoarthritis. Female was associated with increased risk of knee pain in all of Kellgren-Lawrence degrees. In most of Kellgren-Lawrence degrees, depression was associated with increased risk of knee pain, and those with high school diploma or higher were associated with decreased risk of knee pain. A few factors (age, body mass index, and no alcohol drinking) were also associated with increased risk of knee pain for particular grades of radiographic knee osteoarthritis.


Knee pain increased as increasing severity of radiologic knee osteoarthritis. Although there were differences of risk factors associated with knee pain with different grades of knee osteoarthritis, female, depression were associated with increased of knee pain, and those with high school diploma or higher were associated with decreased risk of knee pain in most of Kellgren-Lawrence degrees.

Keywords: Osteoarthritis; Knee; Pain; Nutrition surveys


Figure 1
Frequency of knee pain according to K-L grade.
Abbreviation: K-L grade, Kellgren-Lawrence grade.

aP for trend.

Click for larger image


Table 1
Chacracteristics of participants according to the presence of knee paina
Click for larger image

Table 2
Factors associated with knee paina
Click for larger image

Table 3
Factors associated with knee pain according to K-L gradea
Click for larger image

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