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The risk of osteoarthritis and index to ring finger length ratio
Date:1/2/2008

Index to ring finger length ratio (2D:4D) is a trait known for its sexual differences. Men typically have shorter second than fourth digits; in women, these fingers tend to be about equal in length. Smaller 2D:4D ratios have intriguing hormonal connections, including higher prenatal testosterone levels, lower estrogen concentrations, and higher sperm counts. Reduction in this ratio has also been linked to athletic and sexual prowess. Whether this trait affects the risk of osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive joint disease associated with both physical activity and estrogen deficiency, has not been examined. Until recently.

Researchers with the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom conducted a case-control study to assess the relationship between the 2D: 4D ratio and the risk of knee and hip OA. Their findings, featured in the January 2008 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), suggest that having uncommonly long ring fingers raises the risk for developing OA of the knee, independent of other risk factors and particularly among women.

For the study, 2,049 case subjects were recruited from hospital orthopedic surgery lists and a rheumatology clinic in Nottingham. All had clinically significant symptomatic OA of the knees or hips, requiring consideration of joint replacement surgery. Recruited from hospital lists of patients who had undergone intravenous urography (IVU) within the past five years, 1,123 individuals with no radiographic evidence of hip or knee OA, no present hip or knee symptoms, and no history of joint disease or joint surgery served as controls. The study population was comprised of both men and women, with an average age of roughly 67 years for cases and 63 years for controls.

Radiographs of both knees and the pelvis were obtained for all participants. Every participa
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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