The disability associated with hand osteoarthritis is substantial in a cohort of post-menopausal women: the QUALYOR study

Published:August 18, 2022DOI:



      Our primary aims were to assess current prevalence of HOA and the disability associated with this condition, in the group usually most affected, i.e., women older than 55.


      We performed hand radiographs, clinical examination, grip strength measurement, AUSCAN and COCHIN questionnaires in a cohort of postmenopausal women aged at least 55. Radiographic hand OA (RHOA) was defined as at least 2 affected joints among 30, grading 2 or more using the Kellgren Lawrence score but without any HOA symptom. Symptomatic HOA (OA ACR) was defined according to ACR criteria for hand OA. Moderate to severe symptomatic HOA was defined as having OA ACR and AUSCAN total score of >43/100.


      We enrolled 1,189 participants. The mean age was 71.7 years. Inter-reader reliability of radiographs reading was good (ICC = 0.86) and intra-reader reliability was excellent (ICC = 0.97). Among the 1,189 women, 333 (28.0%) had RHOA, 482 (40.5%) patients fulfilled the ACR criteria for symptomatic HOA and 82 of these (17% of OA ACR population) had moderate to severe symptomatic HOA. The prevalence of symptomatic erosive osteoarthritis was 11.8%. Mean AUSCAN and Cochin scores were higher and grip strength lower in patients with symptomatic HOA compared to patient without HOA. Differences were more noticeable in patients with moderate to severe HOA.


      We have assessed disability associated with HOA in greater detail than previously and found that a third of postmenopausal women had RHOA, two fifths had symptomatic HOA and one sixth of symptomatic patients had moderate to severe HOA related disability and a tenth had symptomatic erosive osteoarthritis, representing a substantial burden of disease in our population-based cohort.


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