31 August 2017

APPROACH researchers demonstrate association between cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis

Work from APPROACH researchers at the Utrecht University Medical Center (UMCU) has resulted in a publication in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. The study demonstrates sex-dependent associations between arterial calcification and knee and/or hip osteoarthritis (OA).

The researchers studied the relationship between cardiovascular disease and OA using data from an existing OA database: the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK). They scored arterial calcifications and the presence of OA on hip and knee radiographs of 763 patients followed for 8 years. 

In women, development of arterial calcification around a joint was positively associated with the development of OA in that joint. In men, no such association was observed. However, when men were analyzed at the patient-level (by adding up all calcification scores of hips and knees), there was a negative association between the development of total arterial calcification and the development of knee and hip OA.

The researchers conclude that the association between incident arterial calcification and OA is sex-specific, and differs between joint- and patient-level. The results point to an underlying pathway between cardiovascular disease and OA, which might differ between men and women. Elucidating this pathway, and obtaining knowledge about the shared features of cardiovascular disease and OA, may lead to novel treatments targeting both diseases.

Visit the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage website for more information about the publication: ‘A sex-specific association between incident radiographic osteoarthritis of hip or knee and incident peripheral arterial calcifications: 8-year prospective data from Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK)’ by W.P. Gielis, P.M.J. Welsing, W.E. van Spil, J. Runhaar, H. Weinans and P.A. de Jong.