Table 1

Descriptive characteristics of study participants

Statin use*
Years on statin medication04.28(3.39)
Age years mean (SD)65.96(8.10)68.8(6.52)
BMI kg/m2 mean (SD)29.10(5.27)29.92(5.19)
Years with joint pain mean (SD)†8.49(9.46)8.55(9.88)
F (n=1537) % (n)51.3%(n=1288)37.7%(n=249)
Cardiovascular disease (n=1679) % (n)‡43.1%(n=1082)90.3%(n=597)
Medication for pain (n=1767) % (n)54.9%(n=1378)58.8%(n=389)
Ever-smoked: ex-smokers (n=1487) and current smokers (n=429) % (n)58.0%(n=1457)69.4%(n=459)
Controls (n=805) % (n)26.7%(n=669)20.6%(n=136)
Nodal OA (n=106) % (n)§3.3%(n=83)3.5%(n=23)
Knee OA (n=729) % (n)¶21.8%(n=546)27.7%(n=183)
Hip OA (n=499) % (n)¶15.9%(n=399)15.1%(n=100)
Hip and knee OA (n=427) % (n)¶12.7%(n=318)16.5%(n=109)
Generalised knee OA: nodal+knee (n=238) 7.5%(n=188)7.6%(n=50)
Generalised hip OA: nodal+hip (n=142)4.7%(n=118)3.6%(n=24)
Generalised hip and knee OA: nodal+hip and knee (n=225)7.5%(n=189)5.4%(n=36)
  • *Study participants underwent a home visit9 and the research nurse reviewed medications and repeat prescriptions from participants. Participants were classified as being on statin medication if they were taking any of the following medications: pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin or fluvastatin. No information on dose was available.

  • †For patients with only knee OA (nodal or not) this is the years with knee pain; for patients with hip OA, the years with hip pain; for patients with both knee and hip OA, this is the largest of years with hip or knee pain; controls are not included, for asymptomatic cases it is 0.

  • ‡Comorbidities were evaluated by nurse-applied questionnaire. A participant is considered to have cardiovascular disease if they replied yes to the question ‘have you been diagnosed by your general practitioner or a specialist to have heart disease or hypertension’.

  • §The presence of Heberden's and Bouchard's nodes was assessed by a nurse. The nodal phenotype was defined as Heberden's and/or Bouchard's nodes that affected at least two rays of each hand.

  • ¶Hip OA was defined as Kellgren–Lawrence at the pelvis (K/L) ≥2) knee OA cases (K/L ≥2)=1617 controls.

  • BMI, Body Mass Index; OA, osteoarthritis.