Diabetes May Be an Osteoarthritis Risk Factor

Published Online: Monday, March 18, 2013
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Diabetic patients may be at a greater risk for hand or knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the January 2013 issue of Clinical Rheumatology. Although other studies have reported a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis in diabetic patients, inconsistencies have prevented researchers from making a conclusive association between diabetes and osteoarthritis.

The cross-sectional study followed 100 adult diabetic patients and 102 nondiabetic patients in a Hispanic population from Puerto Rico. Osteoarthritis of hand and knee was diagnosed using the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria. The researchers considered sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, and pharmacotherapy in their analyses.

Almost half, 49%, of diabetic participants had osteoarthritis while only 26% of nondiabetic patients were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Researchers also found that female diabetic patients were more likely to have hand or knee osteoarthritis than male diabetic patients. Diabetic patients who did not use insulin were also at a greater risk for osteoarthritis.

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