Association of occupational activity with joint space narrowing and osteophytosis in the medial compartment of the knee: the ROAD study (OAC5914R2)

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Jul;19(7):840-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 Apr 9.


Objective: We investigated the association of occupational activity with joint space narrowing and osteophytosis at the knee separately in Japanese subjects using a large-scale population-based cohort of the Research on Osteoarthritis Against Disability (ROAD).

Methods: From the baseline survey of the ROAD study, 1,402 participants (512 men and 890 women) living in mountainous and seacoast communities were analyzed. Information collected included a lifetime occupational history and details of specific workplace physical activities. To estimate the severity of joint space narrowing and osteophytosis at the knee, minimum joint space width (mJSW) and osteophyte area (OPA) in the medial compartment of the knee were measured using a knee osteoarthritis (OA) computer-aided diagnosis system.

Results: For women, agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers had significantly lower mJSW values compared with clerical workers or technical experts, whereas OPA did not differ significantly among job titles in men or women. For occupational activities, kneeling and squatting were associated with lower mJSW as well as higher OPA. Walking and heavy lifting were associated with lower mJSW, but not with OPA.

Conclusion: This cross-sectional study using a population-based cohort suggests that an occupational activity that includes kneeling and squatting appears to have a greater effect on knee OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Bone Diseases / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / pathology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / epidemiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology*
  • Osteophyte / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Tibia / pathology