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A new study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism demonstrates that genetics may play an important role in the development of osteoarthritis (OA).
Built on a multigenerational study begun in 1948, the Framingham Study, researchers compared hand radiographs of 684 of the original study participants with hand radiographs of 793 of their offspring. The researchers found that 50% of the original participants and 30% of their children had signs of OA in at least one hand. As a result of the study, they explored the possibility of a genetic link and found eight chromosomal regions that likely harbor genes for hand OA.
Researchers hope that closer examination of the genetic susceptibility factors specific to arthritis will provide clues for the diagnosis and treatment of OA.