Association between grip strength and hand and knee radiographic osteoarthritis in Korean adults: Data from the Dong-gu study

PLoS One. 2017 Nov 30;12(11):e0185343. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185343. eCollection 2017.


Objectives: We assessed whether grip strength was related to various types of radiographic damage in Korean adults with osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: Data from 2,251 subjects enrolled in the Dong-gu study, who had no hand joint pain, were analyzed to investigate the relationship between grip strength and OA. Hand grip strength was measured using a hand-held dynamometer, and radiographs of the hand and knee were scored according to a semi-quantitative grading system. Multiple linear regressions were used to explore associations between grip strength and radiographic features of OA.

Results: Grip strength in men and women was negatively related to hand (both p < 0.001) and knee (men, p < 0.001; women, p = 0.010) OA after adjusting for confounders. Hand (men, p < 0.001; women, p = 0.001) and knee (both p < 0.001) joint space narrowing (JSN) showed the strongest associations with low grip strength, regardless of gender. Moreover, the severity of hand osteophytes in women (p = 0.001), and subchondral cysts (men, p < 0.001) was correlated with low grip strength in both genders.

Conclusions: Among subjects without hand joint pain, low grip strength was associated significantly with hand and knee radiographic OA, regardless of gender. Among all types of OA radiographic damage, low grip strength showed the strongest association with JSN.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hand Joints / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hand Joints / physiopathology
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Republic of Korea

Grant support

This study was supported by the Chonnam National University Hospital Biomedical Research Institute (CRI13904-24.4). We also thank the funders Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences and Health Promotion Fund, Ministry of Health &Welfare, Republic of Korea for the Dong-gu study.