Prolonged hip and knee arthritis may be associated with higher cardiovascular (but lower cancer) mortality

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cardiovascular health arthritis, heart arthritis, cancer arthritis, arthritis digest magazine, arthritis informationHaving hip or knee osteoarthritis for a longer period of time may increase cardiovascular mortality, a Swedish research group explained at an international conference. But duration of hand osteoarthritis does not have the same impact.

Data from nearly 500,000 people aged 45–84 years was analysed. A total of 15,901 people had knee osteoarthritis, 9,347 had hip osteoarthritis and 4,004 had hand osteoarthritis. Five to 8 years after the original assessment, the risk for cardiovascular mortality increased for people with both knee and hip osteoarthritis; this persisted to the eleventh year of follow-up.

“These associations were driven by chronic heart diseases,” Dr Aleksandra Turkiewicz outlines. “We observed no evidence of increased mortality from myocardial infarction in knee osteoarthritis.”

People with knee osteoarthritis were also at increased risk in mortality from diabetes. But they were less at risk of dying from cancer.

“The gap in cardiovascular mortality between persons with hip and knee osteoarthritis and the general population increases with duration of disease,” Dr Turkiewicz says. “Heart failure and ischemic heart disease are of particular importance. The data also suggest we need to understand the potential association between diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis.”

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