Adipokine hormones and hand osteoarthritis: radiographic severity and pain

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047860. Epub 2012 Oct 26.


Introduction: Obesity's association with hand osteoarthritis cannot be fully explained by mechanical loading. We examined the relationship between adipokines and radiographic hand osteoarthritis severity and pain.

Methods: In a pilot study of 44 hand osteoarthritis patients (39 women and 5 men), serum adipokine concentrations and hand x-ray Kallman-scores were analyzed using linear regression models. Secondary analyses examined correlates of hand pain.

Results: The cohort had a mean age of 63.5 years for women and 72.6 for men; mean (standard deviation) Kallman-scores were 43.3(17.4) for women and 46.2(10.8) for men. Mean body-mass-index was 30 kg/m(2) for women and men. Mean leptin concentration was 32.2 ng/ml (women) and 18.5 ng/ml (men); mean adiponectin-total was 7.9 ng/ml (women) and 5.3 ng/ml (men); mean resistin was 7.3 ng/ml (women) and 9.4 ng/ml (men). No association was found between Kallman-scores and adipokine concentrations (R(2) = 0.00-0.04 unadjusted analysis, all p-values>0.22). Secondary analyses showed mean visual-analog-scale pain of 4.8(2.4) for women and 6.6(0.9) for men. Leptin, BMI, and history of coronary artery disease were found to be associated with visual-analog-scale scores for chronic hand pain (R(2) = 0.36 unadjusted analysis, p-values≤0.04).

Conclusion: In this pilot study, we found that adipokine serum concentrations were not associated with hand osteoarthritis radiographic severity; the most important correlates of joint damage were age and disease duration. Leptin serum concentration, BMI, and coronary artery disease were associated with the intensity of chronic hand OA pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Hand / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Insect Hormones / blood*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / pathology*
  • Oligopeptides / blood*
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / blood
  • Radiography
  • Resistin / blood


  • Insect Hormones
  • Leptin
  • Oligopeptides
  • Resistin
  • adipokinetic hormone
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid