Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A biomarker to predict osteoarthritis

10.01.2005


Study of large, ethnically diverse population shows strong association between high levels of hyaluronic acid and severe osteoarthritis of the knees and hips

chronic degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of pain and disability among older Americans. OA of the knee affects up to 6 percent of the older population, while OA of the hip affects about another 3 percent. While treatments vary, there is hope that early intervention – before joint destruction can be clearly seen and measured on an X-ray image-will improve outcomes.

The need for better ways to assess OA’s activity from its onset has led researchers to investigate possible biomarkers, particularly those related to cartilage and bone turnover. A biomarker is substance found in the blood or joint fluid whose levels can be used to assess the presence or activity of a disease. Among likely candidates for a biomarker for OA is hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan or simply HA. HA is a component of connective tissue that is widely distributed throughout the body and plays an important role in joint function. A recent study, published in the January 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), strongly supports the relationship between increased production of HA and increased risk for OA, specifically of the knees and hips, among ethnically diverse men and women.



Led by Drs. Alan L. Elliott and Joanne M. Jordan of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Virginia B. Kraus of Duke University Medical Center, the study drew its subjects from a large, local population of participants in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. The study group comprised 753 subjects, including 120 African American men, 245 African American women, 199 Caucasian men, and 189 Caucasian women. The average age of the participants was just shy of 62 years and the mean body mass index was on the heavy side, just over 30. Of the total subjects, 455 had mild to severe knee OA, confirmed by radiographs. 152 of the subjects with knee OA also had hip OA. In 52 of these individuals with OA, the disease had progressed to both knees and both hips.

The research team obtained a blood sample from every participant and analyzed each for its concentration of HA. Across the board, Caucasians had higher serum HA levels than African Americans and men had higher serum HA levels than women. The most compelling differences in HA levels, however, were between the 298 subjects without any radiographic evidence of OA and the 455 OA participants – especially those with two or more joints affected. As the presence and amount of OA involvement increased, so did the HA levels. On average, the concentration of HA was higher in patients with severe knee OA compared to those in the moderate stages of disease, higher in patients with two diseased knees compared to those with a single diseased knee, and higher in patients with hip OA in addition to knee OA compared to those with knee OA alone. When adjusted for ethnicity, sex, age, and BMI, the associations between elevated HA levels and all definitions of OA status remained statistically significant.

Also significantly, researchers found no independent correlations between elevated levels of HA and other adverse health conditions reported by the subjects, including high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, persistent liver, kidney, bladder, and prostate problems, and cancer. Only one condition showed a sustained independent relationship with elevated HA after statistical adjustment: gout, which, like OA, is marked by joint inflammation and damage.

"The results of this study suggest that serum HA measurements are useful for assessing overall OA load," Dr Elliott notes. "The lack of independent associations of serum HA levels with several comorbid conditions commonly associated with OA further supports its promise in the study of OA."

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>