Background Hand osteoarthritis (OA) and its severe subset erosive hand OA are common causes of pain and morbidity in western world. Few studies investigated differences in systemic bone loss and metabolic diseases between non-erosive and erosive hand OA.
Objectives To compare bone mineral density and metabolic risk factors between patients with erosive and non-erosive hand OA in a cross-sectional study.
Methods Patients with symptomatic disease fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for hand OA were included in this study. Erosive hand OA was defined by at least one erosive interphalangeal joint. All patients underwent clinical assessments of joint swelling and radiographs of both hands. DEXA examination of lumbar spine, total femur and femur neck was performed. Metabolic risk factors (body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia) and smoking habits were collected.
Results 103 patients (nine male) with symptomatic nodal hand OA were included in this study between April 2012 and December 2013. Mean (SD) age of all patients was 66.1 (8.45) years and disease duration was 5.34 (7.63) years. Out of these patients, 56 had erosive hand OA. Baseline characteristics did not differ between both groups. In general, bone mineral density of lumbar (1.04 vs. 1.10 g/cm2) and total femur (0.91 vs. 0.95 g/cm2) was numerically, but not statistically significantly, lower in the group of erosive compared with non-erosive disease. Out of cardiovascular risk factors, there were more patients with dyslipidaemia (p<0.01) and more cigarette smokers (p<0.05) among patients with erosive compared with non-erosive hand OA.
Conclusions Although these results do not support systemic bone loss in patients with erosive disease; it can be suggested that some metabolic factors and smoking may be implicated in the process of erosive hand OA.
Acknowledgements This work was supported by the project MHCR No. 023728.
Disclosure of Interest None declared