Older individuals with a shallow hip socket may face a greater risk of osteoarthritis (OA). For the study, the researchers used hip radiographs to evaluate 835 women and men, aged 55 and older, for indicators of acetabular dysplasia. The condition is identified by a shallow hip socket that can make the hip unstable and, in extreme cases, prone to dislocation. The study included an assessment of the participants'body mass index (BMI) and history of heavy, physically demanding work. The participants were tracked for 6 years for occurrence of hip OA.
The results of the study, reported in Arthritis & Rheumatism (March 2005), showed that hip OA was >4 times greater among participants with mild-to-moderate acetabular dysplasia, compared with participants without the condition. Women were at higher risk than men for the condition. The findings also indicated that patients with acetabular dysplasia who had a low BMI, as well as those who put extra strain on their hips, were at greater risk for hip OA.