Objective:Since hand joints are non-weight bearing, the association between overweight and hand osteoarthritis (HOA) is critical to understand how overweight may associate with OA apart from axial load. Overweight might be associated with occurrence of OA through other metabolic factors.
Methods:To evaluate the role of overweight in HOA, we used cross-sectional data of a population-based study (>=55 year, n=3585). The role of diabetes, hypertension and total/HDL cholesterol ratio on HOA, and whether they play an intermediate role in the association of overweight/HOA was investigated. Furthermore, we evaluated the prevalence of HOA in concurrent presence of overweight with other metabolic factors.
Results: Independently of other metabolic factors, overweight (BMI>27.4) showed a significant association with HOA (OR;1.4 CI 1.2-1.7). The association between diabetes and HOA was only present in people 55-62 years (OR;1.9 CI 1.0–3.8), but in the total population or other age groups was absent. The association of hypertension with HOA was weak, which disappeared after adjustment for BMI. The total/HDL cholesterol ratio showed no significant association with HOA. Concurrent presence of overweight, diabetes and hypertension compared to persons with none of these characteristics resulted to an even higher prevalence for HOA (OR;2.3 CI 1.3-3.9); this prevalence increased further in the younger age group to OR;3.2 CI 1.1-8.8.
Conclusion: No intermediate effect of metabolic factors on the association of overweight with HOA was found. An increase in prevalence of HOA, however, seems to be present when overweight occurs together with hypertension and diabetes especially at a relatively younger age.