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Approved research

Mendelian randomization analysis to examine for a causal effect of common risk factors on osteoarthritis

Principal Investigator: Professor Claes Ohlsson
Approved Research ID: 26952
Approval date: April 1st 2017

Lay summary

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in developed countries leading to pain and disability. Multiple factors contribute to this whole joint disease. Beside ageing, the major clinical risk factor for osteoarthritis that has been identified is obesity, that is associated with knee osteoarthritis, but also hand and hip osteoarthritis. Other risk factors such as sex hormones, bone mineral density or diabetes were identified, but they could be confounding factors. The aim of the proposed research is to use Mendelian Randomization to examine whether these factors have a causal effect or not on knee or hip osteoarthritis. In a recent study from the UK, projected numbers of total hip or knee replacement in 2035 were estimated at 439 097 and 1 219 362, respectively. Projected counts were higher for women than men. Thus, OA represents a huge health and economic burden. Moreover, the identification of causal factors in osteoarthritis is critical since we are lacking early-phase diagnostic tools and efficient treatments for both symptoms and joint structure. We will use selected genetic markers for assumed OA risk factors as tools to evaluate their impact on the occurrence of the disease. The full cohort is requested.