In a new study, researchers found that people with osteoarthritis have a risk of dying from heart disease.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down.
The research was done by a team from Lund University in Sweden.
In the study, the team examined the link between osteoarthritis and mortality.
Using population registers, the researchers studied approximately 469,000 people living in Skåne, Sweden, who were between 45 and 84 years old.
The researchers followed the people through to 2014.
Among these participants, 16,000 patients had knee arthritis, 9000 had hip arthritis, 4000 had wrist arthritis, and 5500 with other forms of osteoarthritis.
The team looked at the cause of death for those who died between 2004 and 2014 and who had previously been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and compared the results with the rest of the population in the same region.
They found the risk of mortality from heart disease was higher for those with an osteoarthritis diagnosis.
The risk did not increase in the short term after the osteoarthritis diagnosis, but the longer a person had had osteoarthritis, the higher the risk of mortality from heart disease.
For example, if a person had a knee arthritis diagnosis for nine to 11 years, the risk was 16% higher.
The team explains that osteoarthritis causes pain, which often results in people not being as mobile and becoming sedentary instead. Thus, there is a risk of weight gain, which can lead to heart diseases.
In addition, inflammation can be a contributory cause of osteoarthritis, and it can also lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
The team says it’s important for patients to be physically active and keep body weight in check.
Future work needs to find out the mechanisms behind osteoarthritis and heart disease and test the causal link.
The lead author of the study is Martin Englund, professor at Lund University and physician at Skåne University Hospital.
The study is published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
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