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The Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis Essay

772 words - 4 pages

OA has a complex pathology, with numerous environmental and genetic risk factors. Generally, OA is thought to be caused by a complex interaction between environmental and genetic factors (Valdes et al., 2009). A variety of epidemiological studies have demonstrated that genetic susceptibility is a key regulator of OA aetiology (Peach et al., 2005). Genetic variations may influence several OA risk factors, including obesity, skeletal shape, bone mass and synovitis (Valdes et al., 2011a). Furthermore, it has been shown that generalized OA phenotype, sensitivity to pain and disease progression may be also determined by genetic susceptibility (Valdes et al., 2010a; van Meurs et al., 2009; Kerkhof et al., 2010).
In the 1940s familial clustering of OA was first formally studied by Stecher, who performed a study of Heberden’s nodes of the fingers within affected families (Stecher et al., 1941). Later, OA inheritance has been reported in multiple subsequent studies on other common forms of OA affecting the knee (Chitnavis et al., 1997; Felson et al., 1998; Hirsch et al., 1998; Neame et al. 2004), hip (Lindberg et al., 1986, Chitnavis et al., 1997; Lanyon et al., 2000) and spine (Bijkerk et al., 1999; Sambrook et al., 1999). According to published genetic studies, there is a clear difference between sub-populations of OA and different OA phenotypes, such as distinct genetic traits being linked to OA of the knee, hands or hip (Madry et al., 2012). For knee OA, in classic twin studies heritability has been calculated to be 39% in woman after controlling for other OA risk factors, such as age, sex and BMI (Spector et al.,1996). Additionally, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based twin study provided evidence for the importance of genetic factors in determining cartilage volume, showing the heritability for total knee cartilage volume to be 73% (95% CI 51−85%) (Hunter et al., 2003).
Human genetic studies focusing on the identification of important molecular pathways associated with the development of OA pathological changes may help to unravel the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of joint damage and its progression. OA is generally recognized as a complex multi-factor disease that has mostly small and modest effect susceptibility loci (Reynard et al., 2012). Over the past decade efforts have been focused on the search for loci that predispose to OA. The following...

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