Appendicular bone mass and osteoarthritis of the hands in women: data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

J Rheumatol. 1994 Aug;21(8):1532-6.


Objective: The association of appendicular bone mass with hand osteoarthritis (OA) was studied in 238 Caucasian female participants aged 40 and above in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.

Methods: Bilateral hand radiographs taken between 1978 and 1991 were read for grade of OA using Kellgren-Lawrence scales. Two measures of appendicular bone mass, percent cortical area of the second metacarpal and bone mineral density of the distal radius measured with single photon absorptiometry, were assessed at the same visit.

Results: Bivariate analyses showed that increasing grade of hand OA was associated with increasing age and decreasing bone mass as measured by both techniques. After adjustment for age and body mass index, however, neither of these measures of appendicular bone mass remained significantly associated with grade of hand OA.

Conclusion: Our data fail to support the hypothesis that increased appendicular bone mass is associated with hand OA in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density*
  • Female
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Metacarpus / pathology*
  • Metacarpus / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology*
  • Radiography