Patellofemoral pain is considered one of the most common forms of knee pain, affecting adults, adolescents, and physically active populations. High incidence and prevalence levels for patellofemoral pain indicates that it should be an urgent healthcare priority.
In this section, you will find information about the epidemiology of patellofemoral pain (“how common it is”). What populations are most affected by patellofemoral pain? What is the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain?
Knee pain is the second most prevalent condition, with patellofemoral pain being considered one of the most common forms of knee pain. Patellofemoral pain is more likely to affect physically active populations, specially those who perform activities that load the knee joint such as squatting, running, climbing and descending stairs.
A recent systematic review reported that the point prevalence of patellofemoral pain within military populations is reported as 13.5%; for the general population of women is 12% to 13%; for amateur cyclists is 35%; and for women who practice elite sports is 16.7% to 29.3%. See the infographic on the right side to get more information about the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain in different populations.
Important note: Prevalence in epidemiology is the proportion of a particular population found to be affected by a medical condition. Incidence in epidemiology is a measure of the probability of occurrence of a given medical condition in a population within a specified period of time.
The difference between prevalence and incidence can be summarised accordingly: prevalence answers “How many people have this disease right now?” or “How many people have had this disease during this time period?” and incidence answers “How many people per year newly acquire this disease?”
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