Osteoarthritis of the hands in the rural population: a follow-up study

Eur J Epidemiol. 2004;19(7):687-91. doi: 10.1023/b:ejep.0000036794.40723.8e.


The aim of this study was to analyze the progression of hand osteoarthritis in rural population and to determine the factors which could influence that progression. Participants of both sexes were 54-56 years of age at the first visit. Radiographs of both hands, anthropometry and blood pressure measurement were performed at baseline and than repeated 10 years later. Total number of 286 participants completed the study. Radiographs were red according to Kellgren-Lawrence criteria. Distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints were most frequently affected with osteoarthritis at the baseline and after 10 years. The worst deterioration (three grades) was found in DIP joints in women and in proximal interphalangeal joints in men. Grip strength in men was significantly related with progression of the disease, which allow us to conclude that in our population sample mechanical factors, probably occupational workload, are associated with the more rapid progression of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand / pathology*
  • Hand / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*