Almost half of the Chinese population aged above 40 suffers from osteoarthritis, which is caused by bone and cartilage damage around the joints due to old age, according to a recent survey.
The survey of 6,000 Chinese over 40 in six regions shows the disease was equally prevalent in urban and rural areas, said Xue Qingyun, director of a research institute under the health ministry.
The survey conducted for this year's International Osteoporosis Conference found 46.3 percent of people in the age group suffered from the disease, 50.4 percent of them women and 41.6 percent men.
Chinese aged between 60 and 69 have the highest rates of osteoarthritis, most of which was diagnosed in the lumbar area, the survey said.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Chinese Medical Association showed 11 percent Chinese over the age of 20 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, which causes a lessening of bone density.