Background: Osteoarthritis is associated with obesity, sedentary behavior and poor fitness. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) are more prevalent among patients with osteoarthritis than among non-arthritic adults of the same age and sex.
Methods: Forty-six patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee were evaluated; 23 non-arthritic subjects served as control group. A panel of metabolic risk factors were measured including body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and serum lipids and apoproteins.
Results: Measures of arthritis severity confirmed marked disability and deformity in the arthritis group. Patients reported the performance of less aerobic exercise than controls. Compared with controls, patients were noted to have greater mean BMI (31.2 +/0- 5.9 versus 24.6 +/- 3.2 kg/m2, P < 0.000005), WHR (0.88 +/- 0.07 versus 0.83 +/- 0.08, P < 0.05), systolic blood pressure (140.8 +/- 17.9 versus 131.3 +/- 15.3 mmHg, P < 0.05) and fasting blood glucose (105.0 +/- 24.6 versus 93.2 +/- 7.0 mg/dl, P < 0.01), and lower mean high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (47.9 +/- 10.9 versus 56.7 +/- 17.1 mg/dl, P < 0.05). Nonsignificant trends for higher mean diastolic blood pressure and serum triglycerides were also noted in the arthritic group. Mean estimated risk for development of CHD within 10 years of evaluation was greater in the arthritic than in the control group (21.6 +/- 14.4% versus 15.2 +/- 11.7%, P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Patients with moderately severe to end-stage lower extremity osteoarthritis may be at advanced risk for the development of CHD by virtue of their unfavorable risk factor profile.