Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk across phenotypes of osteoarthritis

BMC Rheumatol. 2019 Aug 8:3:33. doi: 10.1186/s41927-019-0081-8. eCollection 2019.


Background: The objective of this study was to explore the associations between ultrasonographic and radiographic joint scores and levels of arterial CVD risk markers in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Secondly, to compare the levels of arterial CVD risk markers between OA phenotypes and controls.

Method: The "Musculoskeletal pain in Ullensaker" Study (MUST) invited residents of Ullensaker municipality with self-reported OA to a medical examination. OA was defined according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria and phenotyped based on joint distribution. Joints of the hands, hips and knees were examined by ultrasonography and conventional radiography, and scored for osteosteophytes. Hands were also scored for inflammation by grey scale (GS) synovitis and power Doppler (PD) signal. Control populations were a cohort of inhabitants of Oslo (OCP), and for external validation, a UK community-based register (UKPC).Pulse pressure augmentation index (AIx) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured using the Sphygmocor apparatus (Atcor®). Ankel-brachial index (ABI) was estimated in a subset of patients. In separate adjusted regression models we explored the associations between ultrasonography and radiograph joint scores and AIx, PWV and ABI. CVD risk markers were also compared between phenotypes of OA and controls in adjusted analyses.

Results: Three hundred and sixty six persons with OA were included (mean age (range); 63.0 (42.0-75.0)), (females (%); 264 (72)). Of these, 155 (42.3%) had isolated hand OA, 111 (30.3%) had isolated lower limb OA and 100 (27.3%) had generalized OA. 108 persons were included in the OCP and 963 persons in the UKPC; (mean age (range); OCP: 57.2 (40.4-70.4), UKPC: 63.9 (40.0-75.0), females (%); OCP: 47 (43.5), UKPC: 543 (56.4%). Hand osteophytes were associated with AIx while GS and PD scores were not related to CVD risk markers. All OA phenotypes had higher levels of AIx compared to OCP in adjusted analyses. External validation against UKPC confirmed these findings.

Conclusions: Hand osteophytes might be related to higher risk of CVD. People with OA had higher augmented central pressure compared to controls.Words 330.

Keywords: Ankle-brachial index; Arterial stiffness; Cardiovascular disease; Central pressure augmentation; Osteoarthritis; Phenotypes; Ultrasonography.