No strong relationship between body mass index and clinical hand osteoarthritis: results from a population-based case-control study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this population-based case-control study was to investigate whether a high body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for clinical hand osteoarthritis (OA).

METHOD: Persons living in Ullensaker municipality in Norway who were aged 20-52 years in 1990 reported height and weight in 1990, 1994, 2004, and 2010 (n = 1276). Cases (clinical hand OA in 2010, n = 59) were compared to controls (participants without self-reported OA or hand pain in 2010, n = 805) with regard to the prospectively measured BMI by means of a generalized estimating equation (GEE) analysis adjusted for age, sex, time, and education.

RESULTS: The mean age of hand OA cases was 64 (SD = 7.5) years in 2010 and 78% were women. There was no association between total average BMI over the entire period and later clinical hand OA (p = 0.320). Cases had a higher mean BMI in 1990 [unstandardized B = 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07-1.79] and in 1994 (B = 0.75, 95% CI 0.22-1.28) but there were no differences between the groups in 2004 or 2010.

CONCLUSIONS: The study lend support to the hypothesis that having a higher BMI when young or middle-aged might be associated with later hand OA.


  • K Magnusson
  • N Østerås
  • I K Haugen
  • P Mowinckel
  • L Nordsletten
  • B Natvig
  • K B Hagen
External organisations
  • Diakonhjemmet Hospital
  • Oslo university hospital
  • University of Oslo
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics


  • Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Body Mass Index, Case-Control Studies, Female, Hand Joints/physiopathology, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Statistical, Norway, Obesity/complications, Osteoarthritis/epidemiology, Prospective Studies, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-15
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes