In The News April 2024


Genetic Factors Influence Osteoarthritis

Inheritance may play a larger role in osteoarthritis than in other rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology (January 2024). Researchers analyzed data from 59,970 Swedish twins (identical and fraternal) ages 35 and older to determine the heritability of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, back and neck pain, shoulder pain and osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis was the most prevalent diagnosis, frequently occurring in the knee, hip and hand joints. Osteoarthritis in any joint and hip osteoarthritis were among the most heritable of the conditions, accounting for 50% and 64%, respectively, of cases. Heritability was least likely to play a role in back and neck pain (31%) and fibromyalgia (23%). The coexistence of osteoarthritis and shoulder pain, as well as back pain, was common. This often could be explained by genetic factors.

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