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A study, reported in Arthritis & Rheumatism (January 2005), identified a possible biomarker to predict osteoarthritis (OA). For the study, the researchers took blood samples from 753 Caucasian and African American men and women. The researchers discovered a strong link between high levels of hyaluronic acid and severe knee and hip arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is defined as a component of connective tissue that is widely distributed throughout the body and plays a major role in joint function.
The results of the study showed that hyaluronic acid levels were higher in individuals with more severe OA and with OA in >1 joint. The study, however, did not find any independent connections between high hyaluronic acid and other health problems seen in the OA patients (eg, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer).