Osteoarthritis increases the risk of cardiovascular disease: Data from the osteoarthritis initiative

Nicola Veronese (Lead Author), Brendon Stubbs, Marco Solmi, Toby Smith, Jean-Yves Reginster, Stefania Maggi

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Objective: Although osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition in older adults, the role of OA in increasing cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence is still debated. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between OA and the onset of CVD in a large database of American adults.

Design: Longitudinal.

Setting: Community-dwelling.

Participants: People with OA or at high risk of OA.

Measurements:. Osteoarthritis was defined as the presence of OA of the hand, knee, hip, back/neck or of other sites. CVD was defined as self-reported presence of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and other cerebral atherosclerotic conditions, and peripheral artery disease.

Results: A total 4,265 persons without CVD (mean age=60.8 years, females=59.2%) at baseline were analyzed (1,775 with OA versus 2,490 without). Over a mean of 8.2 years, according to an adjusted Cox’s regression analysis for 11 potential baseline confounders, study participants with OA of any joint had a significantly higher risk of developing CVD compared to those without OA (Hazard ratio (HR): =1.27; 95% CI: 1.03-1.56). The presence of hand OA was associated with a higher risk of developing CVD (HR=1.31; 95%CI: 1.01-1.68) with respect to those who had no OA. Knee, hip and back/neck OA did not, instead, increase the risk of developing CVD. The association between OA and CVD was significant in the women, but not in the men.

Conclusions: OA, in particular, when it affects the hand and is found in women, was associated with a higher risk of developing CVD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371–376
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • osteoarthritis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • epidemiology

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