Radiographic Osteoarthritis Phenotypes Linked to Race

African-Americans less likely to have hand rOA phenotypes, more likely to have knee phenotypes

TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans are less likely to have hand radiographic osteoarthritis (rOA) phenotypes, but are more likely to have knee rOA phenotypes involving the tibiofemoral joints (TFJ), according to a study published online Oct. 20 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Amanda E. Nelson, M.D., from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues defined and compared hand and whole-body rOA phenotypes among African-Americans and Caucasians. Radiographic data for hands, TFJ, patellofemoral joints, hips, and lumbosacral spine (LS) were read using standard atlases, and 16 mutually exclusive hand and 32 whole-body rOA phenotypes were identified. Phenotype frequencies were compared by race and gender.

The investigators found that there was significantly less frequent rOA of the distal interphalangeal joints in isolation or in combination with other hand joint sites in African-Americans compared to Caucasians, but the frequencies of other hand joints were comparable. African-Americans had more than double the odds of isolated TFJ rOA and 77 percent increased odds of TFJ and LS rOA together than Caucasians.

"While 'generalized OA' as often defined (hand rOA or nodal changes with other joints) may be less frequent in African-Americans, this group may have a higher burden of large joint involvement, particularly TFJ and LS rOA," the authors write.

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