Tag Archives: Bone Health

Hand Osteoarthritis risk higher in women

Medscape reported on a study published on May 8 in the Journal, Arthritis and Rheumatology, that examined data collected from 1999 to 2010 to arrive at a risk prediction for women, with respect to osteoarthritis of the hand.

The Study

The study appears to be a retrospective evaluation of over 2000 people over the age of 45, in North Carolina. They used self-reports of arthritic symptoms and the participants’ X-ray imagery of the hands.


For the overall population, the risk for osteoarthritis in at least one had by the age of 85, is about 39.8%

Caucasians had a higher risk of 41% and African Americans 29%. I assume here that the sub-populations were equivalent or adjusted for.

Obesity ups the risk to 47%, compared to 36% among the non-obese.

In women, the risk is 47% as opposed to men, where it is 25%.


Pain is one of the key effects of osteoarthritis. The more people use their hands, the more the pain related to osteoarthritis of the hand. This makes day to day activities challenging and a huge burden on Quality of Life.

Fighting Back

As the medscape article rightfully points out, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other precautions can help women (and men) in preparing themselves for this condition, as life spans increase and we await more permanent cures (such as gene therapies, etc).


  1. The medscape article: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879943
  2. The publication summary: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.40097/abstract
  3. The Arthritis Foundation on Osteoarthritis: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/
  4. Image Courtesy, Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-woman-hand-holding-heart-shape-against-orange-sky-256809/