Osteoarthritis-related walking disability and arterial stiffness-results from a cross-sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: To compare 6 minute walking distance (6MWD) in a population-based osteoarthritis (OA) cohort with matched peers from the general population, and to explore the associations between walking ability and CVD risk (arterial stiffness) in the OA cohort.

DESIGN: This cross-sectional study included participants (40-80 years) who self-reported OA (n=500) in a population-based study and age- and gender-matched peers from the general population (n=235). Clinical examinations of the OA participants included classification according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, blood samples and measuring arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity, PWV). Group differences in 6MWD were calculated with t-tests. The association between walking ability and CVD risk in the OA cohort was explored in multivariate regression models.

RESULTS: In age stratified analyses, the largest mean difference in 6MWD was observed in the youngest age groups (40-49 years); the OA group walked 84.6 meters (female; 579.4 m vs 663.9 m, p<0.001) and 88.3 meters (male; 619.9 m vs 708.3 m, p=0.001) shorter than the reference groups, respectively. In the OA group, the 6MWD was significantly associated to PWV in adjusted analysis (p=0.001); 100 m longer walking distance corresponded to 0.3 m/s reduction in arterial stiffness.

CONCLUSION: Already from the age of forty, people with OA have significantly shorter mean walking distance compared to matched peers, underlining the importance of early clinical approach to OA. Further, in the OA-group, the 6MWD was significantly associated with arterial stiffness, suggesting that walking ability is important for the CVD risk profile in OA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


  • Kenth L Joseph
  • Kåre B Hagen
  • Anne T Tveter
  • Karin Magnusson
  • Sella A Provan
  • Hanne Dagfinrud
External organisations
  • Diakonhjemmet Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geriatrics
  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
JournalArthritis care and research : the official journal of the Arthritis Health Professions Association
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Jul 5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch