To examine the association of upper extremity bone mass with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, bilateral standing knee radiographs, taken between 1985 and 1991, in 430 Caucasian male and 266 Caucasian female subjects aged 40 years and above in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, were read by one investigator for grade of OA using Kellgren‐Lawrence scales. Several measures of upper extremity bone mass, size, and density, including combined cortical thickness (CCT), total width and percentage of cortical area of the second metacarpal, and bone mineral content (BMC), width, and density of the distal third of the left radius measured with single photon absorptiometry, were assessed at the same visit. In univariate analyses, men and women with definite knee OA were significantly older, men had significantly greater radial width, and women had significantly lower bone mass as measured by both CCT and BMC. After adjustment for age and body weight, however, men with knee OA had significantly higher BMC and radial width while neither of these measures of upper extremity bone mass and size was significantly associated with the presence of definite knee OA in women. Neither measure of upper extremity bone density was significantly associated with definite knee OA in either sex. These data suggest that, although men (but not women) with definite knee OA have significantly higher levels of adjusted radial bone mass and size, subjects with knee OA do not have significantly higher levels of adjusted bone mineral density at either upper extremity site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine