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Racial disparity observed in varus and valgus thrust study of knee OA
Date:4/28/2010

A recent study determined that African-Americans were less likely to have a varus thrust, but more likely to have valgus thrust than Caucasians. Varus thrust is visualized during gait as the worsening or abrupt onset of varus (bow-legged) alignment as the leg accepts weight, with a return to less varus and more neutral alignment during lift-off of the foot and the swing phase of gait. Prior research has shown that varus thrust seen in gait is associated with a 4-fold increase in the risk of progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Disparity in thrust presence between the races may help explain differences in the pattern of osteoarthritic involvement at the knee. Study findings are published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

OA is the most common type of arthritis, characterized by cartilage damage and loss, and causing pain, inflammation, and loss of joint motion. According to The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, roughly 27 million Americans 25 years and older have OA. With the aging population, experts project that by 2030 20% of Americans (72 million) will be at risk for developing this disabling disease.

In the current study, a team of researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University assessed frequency of varus and valgus thrust in African-Americans and Caucasians and identified factors associated with thrust presence in members of the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort. The OAI thrust study included 3,592 persons (594 African-Americans and 2,998 Caucasians) who were split into two groups: participants without knee OA (n=1,566) and those with OA in one or both knees (n=2026). Those participants without knee OA had a mean age 61 years, a mean body mass index (BMI) of 27.6 kg/m2, and 58.7% were women. In persons with knee OA, the mean age was 63.4 years, the mean BMI was 28.4 kg/m2, and 57.5% were wo
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Contact: Dawn Peters
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Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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