Vascular pathology linked to hand, knee osteoarthritis
Vascular pathology appears to be associated with the risk of hand and knee osteoarthritis (OA), with a potential causal relationship for knee OA, suggest the results of a systematic review.
Of the 15 studies that met the eligibility criteria, three were of high quality, three were fair, and nine were low. Vascular pathology showed the following features: atherosclerosis, vascular stiffness, and endothelial dysfunction in different vascular beds.
An association was seen between vascular pathology and risk of hand OA in women but not in men, and between vascular pathology and risk of knee OA in both men and women. Two studies, however, did not show an association between vascular pathology and risk of hip OA.
“Based on the limited evidence, it is hard to conclude an association for hip OA,” the investigators said. “Further stronger evidence is needed to determine whether there is a causal relationship.”
Several databases (Scopus, Ovid Medline, and Embase) were searched from inception to February 2019. Medical subject heading terms and keywords were used to identify studies examining the association between vascular pathology and OA. Two reviewers extracted the data and assessed the methodological quality independently. Qualitative evidence synthesis was also carried out.
“Vascular pathology (changes in blood vessels) and OA are both common chronic conditions associated with ageing and obesity, but whether vascular pathology is a risk factor for OA is unclear,” according to the investigators.