Hand OA tied to poorer physical, but not mental, quality of life
Hand osteoarthritis (OA) shows an association with physical, but not mental, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the general population and hospital patients, a study has found. A further decline in physical HRQOL is seen in hospital care and with concurrent knee OA.
The investigators recruited participants in the population-based Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study from the greater area of Leiden and patients with a rheumatologist’s diagnosis of hand OA in the Hand Osteoarthritis in Secondary Care (HOSTAS) study from a Leiden-based hospital.
Both cohorts applied the American College of Rheumatology clinical criteria for hand and knee OA. Self-reported hospital-based specialist consultation of OA was recorded in NEO. Normalized Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 scores were used to assess physical and mental HRQOL.
Finally, the investigators analysed associations using linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, education, ethnicity, and body mass index.
Among 6,334 NEO participants, 8 percent had hand OA alone and 4 percent concurrent hand and knee OA. The corresponding proportion among 538 HOSTAS patients was 57 percent and 32 percent.
In NEO, hand OA alone (mean difference, –2.4, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], –3.6 to –1.3) and concurrent hand and knee OA (mean difference, –7.7, 95 percent CI, –9.3 to –6.2) correlated with lower physical component summary (PCS) scores compared with no OA. Consultation with a specialist also resulted in worse PCS scores.
In HOSTAS, mean PCS scores were lower than norm values (–3.5 for hand OA and –7.9 for combined OA). Notably, mental HRQOL did not show clinically relevant association in either cohort.