Objective: The evidence for an association between mutations in the HFE (hemochromatosis) gene and the risk of hip or knee osteoarthritis is inconsistent. Total joint replacement is considered a surrogate measure for symptomatic end-stage osteoarthritis. We examined the relationship between HFE gene mutations and risk of total hip and knee replacement using a prospective cohort study.
Methods: The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study recruited participants between 1990 and 1994. Participants born in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or Ireland (n = 27,848) were genotyped for the HFE C282Y mutation. Total hip and knee replacements for osteoarthritis during 2001 to 2009 were ascertained from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry. Hazard ratios (HR)/odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from Cox regression or logistic regression.
Results: Compared with those with no C282Y mutation, C282Y homozygotes had an increased risk of single total hip replacement (HR 1.94, 95% CI 1.04-3.62) and bilateral total hip replacement (OR 5.86, 95% CI 2.36-14.57) for osteoarthritis, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and educational level. Only 3 C282Y homozygotes had single total knee replacement; the HR was 0.51 (95% CI 0.16-1.57). C282Y/H63D compound heterozygosity was not related to the risk of total hip or knee replacement.
Conclusions: HFE C282Y homozygosity was associated with an increased risk of both single and bilateral total hip replacement for osteoarthritis.
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