INTRODUCTION: This study aims to evaluate the association between the disability of due to osteoarthritis (OA) and subclinical atherosclerosis.
METHODS: The disability level of the OA patients attributable to OA was assessed based on the Australian Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index (AUSCAN) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index. Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed based on the results of carotid intima media thickness (CIMT), arterial stiffness index-β (ASI-β), carotid femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV), aortic distensibility and echocardio-graphic calcification (echo-CCS) assessments.
RESULTS: A total of 160 (%100.0) patients were divided into hand OA 40 (25.0%), knee OA 40 (25.0%), hip OA 40 (25.0%) and one control group 40 (25.0%). There was a relationship between the Kellgren-Lawrence stage of OA and CIMT, ASI-β, CFPWV, echo-CCS in the hand OA group (r=0.540 and p=0.042; r=0.530 and p=0.044; r=0.720 and p=0.001; r=0.580 and p=0.035, respectively). In addition, a statistically significant positive correlation between the AUSCAN score and CIMT, ASI-β, echo-CCS of the patients in the hand OA group (r=0.460 and p=0.025; r=0.390 and p=0.033; r=0.550 and p=0.010, respectively).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The disability level attributable to hand OA may reflect the severity of subclinical atherosclerosis. In primary care, physicians awareness on the association between hand OA and subclinical atherosclerosis may be beneficial in the care of asymptomatic patients.