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1.  A population-based survival analysis describing the association of body mass index on time to revision for total hip and knee replacements: results from the UK general practice research database 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003614.
Objectives
Against a backdrop of rising levels of obesity, we describe and estimate associations of body mass index (BMI), age and gender with time to revision for participants undergoing primary total hip (THR) or knee (TKR) replacement in the UK.
Design
Population-based cohort study.
Setting
Routinely collected primary care data from a representative sample of general practices, including linked data on all secondary care events.
Participants
Population-based cohort study of 63 162 patients with THR and 54 276 with TKR in the UK General Practice Research Database between 1988 and 2011.
Primary and secondary outcomes
Risk of THR and TKR revision associated with BMI, age and gender, after adjusting for the competing risk of death.
Results
The 5-year cumulative incidence rate for THR was 2.2% for men and 1.8% for women (TKR 2.3% for men, 1.6% for women). The adjusted overall subhazard ratio (SHR) for patients with THR undergoing subsequent hip revision surgery, with a competing risk of death, were estimated at 1.020 (95% CI 1.009 to 1.032) per additional unit (kg/m2) of BMI, 1.23 (95% CI 1.10 to 1.38) for men compared with women and 0.970 (95% CI 0.967 to 0.973) per additional year of age. For patients with TKR, the equivalent estimates were 1.015 (95% CI 1.002 to 1.028) for BMI; 1.51 (95% CI 1.32 to 1.73) for gender and 0.957 (95% CI 0.951 to 0.962) for age. Morbidly obese patients with THR had a 65.5% increase (95% CI 15.4% to 137.3%, p=0.006) in the subhazard of revision versus the normal BMI group (18.5–25). The effect for TKR was smaller (a 43.9% increase) and weaker (95% CI 2.6% to 103.9%, p=0.040).
Conclusions
BMI is estimated to have a small but statistically significant association with the risk of hip and knee revision, but absolute numbers are small. Further studies are needed in order to distinguish between effects for specific revision surgery indications.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003614
PMCID: PMC3845068  PMID: 24285628
2.  Defining Incident Radiographic Hip Osteoarthritis for Epidemiologic Studies in Women 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(4):1052-1059.
Objectives
To evaluate definitions of radiographic hip osteoarthritis (RHOA) for use in longitudinal epidemiologic studies of disease incidence in women.
Methods
We studied 5,839 women from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures who had had serial pelvic radiographs obtained (mean of 8.3 years apart) and who were followed up (mean followup 7.1 years from the time of the second radiograph) for evaluation of clinical outcomes. Definitions of RHOA were assessed for construct validity (association with symptoms and signs at the time of the second radiograph) and predictive validity (association with total hip replacement [THR] and signs and symptoms a mean of 7.1 years later). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to assess the strength of association using logistic regression.
Results
The cumulative incidence of RHOA ranged from 2.2% to 11.7%. All definitions displayed significant construct validity; the most consistent was found for composite definitions that required the concurrent presence of 2 or more individual radiographic features and definitions based on stringent criteria for joint space narrowing. All definitions except minimum joint space ≤2.5 mm displayed consistent predictive validity. Composite definitions had the strongest associations with THR (OR 10.5–18.5) and hip pain (OR 2.6–2.9). The hips identified as having OA by each definition varied, with especially small overlap between findings using definitions based on osteophytes and those using definitions based on joint space narrowing alone.
Conclusions
Most definitions of incident RHOA display good construct and predictive validity. Composite definitions have the best overall performance, and definitions requiring the presence of both osteophytes (in particular, femoral osteophytes) and joint space narrowing would be recommended for most epidemiologic and genetic studies.
doi:10.1002/art.24382
PMCID: PMC3777428  PMID: 19333950
3.  A case of leg pain and weakness in a man with diabetes 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2007;60(8):938-939.
doi:10.1136/jcp.2005.032458
PMCID: PMC1994504  PMID: 17660337
motor neurone disease; creatine kinase; diabetes
4.  The association between hip morphology parameters and nineteen-year risk of end-stage osteoarthritis of the hip: A nested case–control study 
Arthritis and Rheumatism  2011;63(11):3392-3400.
Objective
Subtle deformities of the hip joint are implicated in the etiology of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. Parameters that quantify these deformities may aid understanding of these associations. We undertook this study to examine relationships between such parameters and the 19-year risk of total hip arthroplasty (THA) for end-stage OA.
Methods
A new software program designed for measuring morphologic parameters around the hip was developed and validated in a reliability study. THA was the outcome measure for end-stage OA. A nested case–control study was used with individuals from a cohort of 1,003 women who were recruited at year 1 in 1989 and followed up to year 20 (the Chingford Study). All hips with THA by year 20 and 243 randomly selected control hips were studied. Pelvis radiographs obtained at year 2 were analyzed for variations in hip morphology. Measurements were compared between the THA case group and the control group.
Results
Patients with THA had a higher prevalence of cam deformity than did their respective controls (median alpha angle 62.4° versus 45.8° [P = 0.001]; mean modified triangular index height 28.5 mm versus 26.9 mm [P = 0.001]) as well as a higher prevalence of acetabular dysplasia (mean lateral center edge angle 29.5° versus 34.3° [P = 0.001]; median extrusion index 0.25 versus 0.185 [P = 0.009]). Logistic regression analyses clustering by subject and adjusting for radiographic hip OA at year 2 showed that these morphologic parameters were still significantly associated with THA by year 20. The alpha angle and lateral center edge angle predicted the risk of THA independently when included in the same model.
Conclusion
This investigation describes measurements that predict the risk of THA for end-stage OA by year 20, independently of the presence of radiographic hip OA at year 2. These measurements can be made on an anteroposterior pelvis radiograph, which is an inexpensive and commonly used clinical method of investigation.
doi:10.1002/art.30523
PMCID: PMC3494291  PMID: 21739424
5.  Body mass index is not a clinically meaningful predictor of patient reported outcomes of primary hip replacement surgery: prospective cohort study 
Objectives
To describe whether body mass index (BMI) is a clinically meaningful predictor of patient reported outcomes following primary total hip replacement (THR) surgery
Design
Combined data from prospective cohort studies. We obtained information from four cohorts of patients receiving primary THR for osteoarthritis: Exeter Primary Outcomes Study (n=1431); EUROHIP (n=1327); Elective Orthopaedic Centre (n=2832); and St. Helier (n=787). The exposure of interest was pre-operative BMI. Confounding variables included: age, sex, SF-36 mental health, comorbidities, fixed flexion, analgesic use, college education, OA in other joints, expectation of less pain, radiographic K&L grade, ASA grade, years of hip pain. The primary outcome was the Oxford Hip Score (OHS). Regression models describe the association of BMI on outcome adjusting for all confounders.
Results
For a 5-unit increase in BMI, the attained 12-month OHS decreases by 0.78 points 95%CI (0.27 to 1.28), p-value 0.001. Compared to people of normal BMI (20 to 25), those in the obese class II (BMI 35 to 40) would have a 12-month OHS that is 2.34 points lower. Although statistically significant this effect is small and not clinically meaningful in contrast to the substantial change in OHS seen across all BMI groupings. In obese class II patients achieved a 22.2 point change in OHS following surgery.
Conclusions
Patients achieved substantial change in OHS after THR across all BMI categories, which greatly outweighs the small difference in attained post-operative score. The findings suggest BMI should not present a barrier to access THR in terms of PROMs.
doi:10.1016/j.joca.2013.12.018
PMCID: PMC4147658  PMID: 24418679
Epidemiology; Osteoarthritis; Hip replacement; Patient reported outcome; body mass index; decision making
6.  Inadequate pain relief and large functional loss among patients with knee osteoarthritis: evidence from a prospective multinational longitudinal study of osteoarthritis real-world therapies 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2014;54(2):270-277.
Objective. To estimate the prevalence of inadequate pain relief (IPR) among patients with symptomatic knee OA prescribed analgesic therapy and to characterize patients with IPR.
Methods. Patients ≥50 years old with physician-diagnosed knee OA who had taken topical or oral pain medication for at least 14 days were recruited for this prospective non-interventional study in six European countries. Pain and function were assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and the WOMAC; quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the 12-item short form. IPR was defined as an average pain score of >4 out of 10 on BPI question 5.
Results. Of 1187 patients enrolled, 68% were female and the mean age was 68 years (s.d. 9); 639 (54%) met the definition of IPR. Patient responses for the BPI average pain question were well correlated with responses on the WOMAC pain subscale (Spearman r = 0.64, P < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, patients with IPR had greater odds of being female [adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 1.90 (95% CI 1.46, 2.48)] and having OA in both knees [adjOR 1.48 (95% CI 1.15, 1.90)], higher BMI, longer OA duration, depression or diabetes. Patients with IPR (vs non-IPR) were more likely to have worse QoL, greater function loss and greater pain interference.
Conclusion. IPR is common among patients with knee OA requiring analgesics and is associated with large functional loss and impaired QoL. Patients at particular risk of IPR, as characterized in this study, may require greater attention towards their analgesic treatment options.
Trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ (NCT01294696).
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keu332
PMCID: PMC4301711  PMID: 25150513
analgesic therapy; inadequate pain relief; knee; osteoarthritis
7.  Fracture prevention in patients with cognitive impairment presenting with a hip fracture: secondary analysis of data from the HORIZON Recurrent Fracture Randomised Controlled Trial 
PURPOSE
Patients with cognitive impairment (CI) are at high risk of fracture but often denied osteoporosis therapy. We tested whether the effects of zoledronic acid (Zol) on re-fracture and mortality differed in patients presenting with a hip fracture by cognitive status.
METHODS
We used data from the HORIZON Recurrent Fracture Trial, of yearly intravenous 5mg Zol vs. placebo in patients presenting with a hip fracture. Primary outcome was new fracture and secondary outcome mortality.
Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ) with a cut-point of >2 was used to identify CI. Fine-Gray models for competing events were fitted to study the effect of Zol on re-fracture and Cox regression for death. A multiplicative term was introduced to study a potential interaction between treatment and cognitive status on outcomes.
RESULTS
1,966/2,127 (92.4%) patients had baseline SPMSQ measured. 350 (17.8%) had CI, balanced between treatment arms. In the placebo arm, there was similar fracture incidence between those with and without CI (15.4% vs. 12.3%, p=0.26). There was no significant interaction for the effect of CI on Zol and re-fracture (p=0.66)). CI was associated with higher 1-year mortality (12.6% vs. 4.3%, p<0.001) and the interaction was bordering significance (interaction p=0.066). Zol prolonged survival only in patients with normal cognitive status (HR 0.56 [95%CI 0.40-0.80]) and not in those with CI (HR 0.90 [95%CI 0.59-1.38]).
CONCLUSIONS
While these results require confirmation, the findings support the use of bisphosphonates in patients with both osteoporotic fracture and CI expected to live for more than 6 months.
doi:10.1007/s00198-013-2420-8
PMCID: PMC3867338  PMID: 23812596
Fractures, Bone; Mortality; Zoledronic Acid; Dementia; Epidemiology
8.  Different Indices of Fetal Growth Predict Bone Size and Volumetric Density at 4 Years of Age 
We have demonstrated previously that higher birth weight is associated with greater peak and later-life bone mineral content and that maternal body build, diet, and lifestyle influence prenatal bone mineral accrual. To examine prenatal influences on bone health further, we related ultrasound measures of fetal growth to childhood bone size and density. We derived Z-scores for fetal femur length and abdominal circumference and conditional growth velocity from 19 to 34 weeks’ gestation from ultrasound measurements in participants in the Southampton Women’s Survey. A total of 380 of the offspring underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at age 4 years [whole body minus head bone area (BA), bone mineral content (BMC), areal bone mineral density (aBMD), and estimated volumetric BMD (vBMD)]. Volumetric bone mineral density was estimated using BMC adjusted for BA, height, and weight. A higher velocity of 19- to 34-week fetal femur growth was strongly associated with greater childhood skeletal size (BA: r = 0.30, p < .0001) but not with volumetric density (vBMD: r = 0.03, p = .51). Conversely, a higher velocity of 19- to 34-week fetal abdominal growth was associated with greater childhood volumetric density (vBMD: r = 0.15, p = .004) but not with skeletal size (BA: r = 0.06, p = .21). Both fetal measurements were positively associated with BMC and aBMD, indices influenced by both size and density. The velocity of fetal femur length growth from 19 to 34 weeks’ gestation predicted childhood skeletal size at age 4 years, whereas the velocity of abdominal growth (a measure of liver volume and adiposity) predicted volumetric density. These results suggest a discordance between influences on skeletal size and volumetric density.
doi:10.1359/jbmr.091022
PMCID: PMC3793299  PMID: 20437610
EPIDEMIOLOGY; OSTEOPOROSIS; PROGRAMMING; DEVELOPMENTAL ORIGINS
9.  Genome-wide association study meta-analysis of chronic widespread pain: evidence for involvement of the 5p15.2 region 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2012;72(3):427-436.
Objectives
Chronic widespread pain (CWP) is a common disorder affecting ~10% of the general population and has an estimated heritability of 48-52%. In the first large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis, we aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with CWP.
Methods
We conducted a GWAS meta-analysis in 1,308 female CWP cases and 5,791 controls of European descent, and replicated the effects of the genetic variants with suggestive evidence for association in 1,480 CWP cases and 7,989 controls (P<1×10−5). Subsequently, we studied gene expression levels of the nearest genes in two chronic inflammatory pain mouse models, and examined 92 genetic variants previously described associated with pain.
Results
The minor C-allele of rs13361160 on chromosome 5p15.2, located upstream of CCT5 and downstream of FAM173B, was found to be associated with a 30% higher risk of CWP (MAF=43%; OR=1.30, 95%CI=1.19-1.42, P=1.2×10−8). Combined with the replication, we observed a slightly attenuated OR of 1.17 (95%CI=1.10-1.24, P=4.7×10−7) with moderate heterogeneity (I2=28.4%). However, in a sensitivity analysis that only allowed studies with joint-specific pain, the combined association was genome-wide significant (OR=1.23, 95%CI=1.14-1.32, P=3.4×10−8, I2=0%). Expression levels of Cct5 and Fam173b in mice with inflammatory pain were higher in the lumbar spinal cord, not in the lumbar dorsal root ganglions, compared to mice without pain. None of the 92 genetic variants previously described were significantly associated with pain (P>7.7×10−4).
Conclusions
We identified a common genetic variant on chromosome 5p15.2 associated with joint-specific CWP in humans. This work suggests that CCT5 and FAM173B are promising targets in the regulation of pain.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201742
PMCID: PMC3691951  PMID: 22956598
Gene Polymorphism; Fibromyalgia/Pain Syndromes; Epidemiology
10.  A Role for PACE4 in Osteoarthritis Pain: Evidence from Human Genetic Association and Null Mutant Phenotype 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2012;71(6):1042-1048.
Objectives
To assess if genetic variation in the PACE4 gene, PCSK6, influences the risk for symptomatic knee OA.
Methods
Ten PCSK6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were tested for association in a discovery cohort of radiographic knee OA (n= 156 asymptomatic and 600 symptomatic cases). Meta-analysis of the minor allele at rs900414 was performed in three additional independent cohorts (total n=674 asymptomatic and 2068 symptomatic). Pcsk6 knockout (KO) mice and wildtype C57BL/6 mice were compared in a battery of algesiometric assays, including hypersensitivity in response to intraplantar substance P; pain behaviours in response to intrathecal substance P; and pain behaviour in the abdominal constriction test.
Results
In the discovery cohort of radiographic knee OA, an intronic SNP at rs900414 was significantly associated with symptomatic OA. Replication in three additional cohorts confirmed that the minor allele at rs900414 was consistently increased among asymptomatic compared to symptomatic radiographic knee OA cases in all four cohorts. A fixed-effects meta-analysis yielded an odds ratio =1.35 (95% CI 1.17, 1.56; p-value 4.3×10−5 and no significant between-study heterogeneity). Studies in mice revealed that Pcsk6 knockout (KO) mice were significantly protected against pain in a battery of algesiometric assays.
Conclusions
These results suggest that a variant in PCSK6 is strongly associated with protection against pain in knee OA, offering some insight as to why in the presence of the same structural damage, some individuals develop chronic pain and others are protected. Studies in Pcsk6 null mutant mice further implicate PACE4 in pain.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200300
PMCID: PMC3603144  PMID: 22440827
Knee osteoarthritis; pain; PACE4; genetic association; SNP
11.  Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies confirms a susceptibility locus for knee osteoarthritis on chromosome 7q22 
Evangelou, Evangelos | Valdes, Ana M. | Kerkhof, Hanneke J.M | Styrkarsdottir, Unnur | Zhu, YanYan | Meulenbelt, Ingrid | Lories, Rik J. | Karassa, Fotini B. | Tylzanowski, Przemko | Bos, Steffan D. | Akune, Toru | Arden, Nigel K. | Carr, Andrew | Chapman, Kay | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Dai, Jin | Deloukas, Panos | Doherty, Michael | Doherty, Sally | Engstrom, Gunnar | Gonzalez, Antonio | Halldorsson, Bjarni V. | Hammond, Christina L. | Hart, Deborah J. | Helgadottir, Hafdis | Hofman, Albert | Ikegawa, Shiro | Ingvarsson, Thorvaldur | Jiang, Qing | Jonsson, Helgi | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kawaguchi, Hiroshi | Kisand, Kalle | Kloppenburg, Margreet | Kujala, Urho M. | Lohmander, L. Stefan | Loughlin, John | Luyten, Frank P. | Mabuchi, Akihiko | McCaskie, Andrew | Nakajima, Masahiro | Nilsson, Peter M. | Nishida, Nao | Ollier, William E.R. | Panoutsopoulou, Kalliope | van de Putte, Tom | Ralston, Stuart H. | Rivadeneira, Fernado | Saarela, Janna | Schulte-Merker, Stefan | Slagboom, P. Eline | Sudo, Akihiro | Tamm, Agu | Tamm, Ann | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Tsezou, Aspasia | Wallis, Gillian A. | Wilkinson, J. Mark | Yoshimura, Noriko | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Zhai, Guangju | Zhang, Feng | Jonsdottir, Ingileif | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Felson, David T | van Meurs, Joyce B. | Stefansson, Kari | Ioannidis, John P.A. | Spector, Timothy D.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2010;70(2):349-355.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis and accounts for substantial morbidity and disability, particularly in the elderly. It is characterized by changes in joint structure including degeneration of the articular cartilage and its etiology is multifactorial with a strong postulated genetic component. We performed a meta-analysis of four genome-wide association (GWA) studies of 2,371 knee OA cases and 35,909 controls in Caucasian populations. Replication of the top hits was attempted with data from additional ten replication datasets. With a cumulative sample size of 6,709 cases and 44,439 controls, we identified one genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 7q22 for knee OA (rs4730250, p-value=9.2×10−9), thereby confirming its role as a susceptibility locus for OA. The associated signal is located within a large (500kb) linkage disequilibrium (LD) block that contains six genes; PRKAR2B (protein kinase, cAMP-dependent, regulatory, type II, beta), HPB1 (HMG-box transcription factor 1), COG5 (component of oligomeric golgi complex 5), GPR22 (G protein-coupled receptor 22), DUS4L (dihydrouridine synthase 4-like), and BCAP29 (the B-cell receptor-associated protein 29). Gene expression analyses of the (six) genes in primary cells derived from different joint tissues confirmed expression of all the genes in the joint environment.
doi:10.1136/ard.2010.132787
PMCID: PMC3615180  PMID: 21068099
12.  Hydroxychloroquine effectiveness in reducing symptoms of hand osteoarthritis (HERO): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:64.
Background
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, causing significant joint pain and disability. It is already a major cause of healthcare expenditure and its incidence will further increase with the ageing population. Current treatments for OA have major limitations and new analgesic treatments are needed. Synovitis is prevalent in OA and is associated with pain. Hydroxychloroquine is used in routine practice for treating synovitis in inflammatory arthritides, such as rheumatoid arthritis. We propose that treating patients with symptomatic hand OA with hydroxychloroquine will be a practical and safe treatment to reduce synovitis and pain.
Methods/design
HERO is an investigator-initiated, multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 252 subjects with symptomatic hand OA will be recruited across primary and secondary care sites in the UK and randomized on a 1:1 basis to active treatment or placebo for 12 months. Daily medication dose will range from 200 to 400 mg according to ideal body weight. The primary endpoint is change in average hand pain during the previous two weeks (measured on a numerical rating scale (NRS)) between baseline and six months. Secondary endpoints include other self-reported pain, function and quality-of-life measures and radiographic structural change at 12 months. A health economics analysis will also be performed. An ultrasound substudy will be conducted to examine baseline levels of synovitis. Linear and logistic regression will be used to compare changes between groups using univariable and multivariable modelling analyses. All analyses will be conducted on an intention-to-treat basis.
Discussion
The HERO trial is designed to examine whether hydroxychloroquine is an effective analgesic treatment for OA and whether it provides any long-term structural benefit. The ultrasound substudy will address whether baseline synovitis is a predictor of therapeutic response. This will potentially provide a new treatment for OA, which could be of particular use in the primary care setting.
Trial registration
ISRCTN91859104.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-64
PMCID: PMC3716636  PMID: 23452375
Double-blind; Hand osteoarthritis; Hydroxychloroquine; Placebo-controlled; Randomized
13.  The association of patient characteristics and surgical variables on symptoms of pain and function over 5 years following primary hip-replacement surgery: a prospective cohort study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(3):e002453.
Objectives
To identify patient characteristics and surgical factors associated with patient-reported outcomes over 5 years following primary total hip replacement (THR).
Design
Prospective cohort study.
Setting
Seven hospitals across England and Scotland.
Participants
1431 primary hip replacements for osteoarthritis.
Main outcome measures
The Oxford Hip Score (OHS) was collected preoperatively and each year up to 5 years postoperatively. Repeated measures such as linear regression modelling are used to identify patient and surgical predictors of outcome and describe trends over time.
Results
The majority of patients demonstrated substantial improvement in pain/function in the first year after surgery—between 1 and 5 years follow-up, there was neither further improvement nor decline. The strongest determinant of attained postoperative OHS was the preoperative OHS—those with worse preoperative pain/function had worse postoperative pain/function. Other predictors with small but significant effects included: femoral component offset—women with an offset of 44 or more had better outcomes; age—compared to those aged 50–60, younger (age <50) and older patients (age >60) had worse outcome, increasing body mass index (BMI), more coexisting diseases and worse Short Form 36 mental health (MH) was related to worse postoperative pain/function. Assessment of change in OHS between preoperative  and postoperative assessments revealed that patients achieved substantial and clinically relevant symptomatic improvement (change), regardless of variation in these patient and surgical factors.
Conclusions
Patients received substantial benefit from surgery, regardless of their preoperative assessments and surgical characteristics (baseline pain/function, age, BMI, comorbidities, MH and femoral component offset). Further research is needed to identify other factors that can improve our ability to identify patients at risk of poor outcomes from THR surgery.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002453
PMCID: PMC3612787  PMID: 23457332
Epidemiology
14.  Regional and temporal variation in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis across the UK: a descriptive register-based cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001603.
Objectives
To describe current disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) prescription in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with reference to best practice and to identify temporal and regional trends in the UK.
Design
Descriptive, register-based cohort study.
Participants
Permanently registered patients aged ≥18 years with a recorded diagnosis of RA between 1 January 1995 and 31 March 2010 and matched controls. Participants with RA were identified through screening of all patients in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) with a clinical or referral record for RA and at least 1 day of follow-up.
Setting
639 general practices in the UK supplying data to the GPRD.
Main outcome measures
Medication prescribing between 3 and 12 months of RA diagnosis by region and time period (1995–1999, 2000–2005 and 2006–April 2010).
Results
Of the 35 911 patients in the full RA cohort, 15 259 patients (42%) had incident RA. Analysis of prescribing in incident RA patients demonstrated that between 1995 (baseline) and 2010 there was a substantial increase in DMARD, and specifically methotrexate, prescribing across all regions with a less marked increase in combination DMARD prescribing. Taking 12-month prescribing as a snapshot: DMARD prescribing was 19–49% at baseline increasing to 45–74% by 2006–April 2010; methotrexate prescribing was 4–16% at baseline increasing to 32–60%; combination DMARD prescribing was 0–8% at baseline increasing to 3–17%. However, there was marked regional variation in the proportion of RA patients receiving DMARD regardless of time period.
Conclusions
There has been a substantial increase in prescribing of DMARDs for RA since 1995; however, regional variation persists across the UK with relative undertreatment, according to established best practice. Improved implementation of evidence-based best clinical practice to facilitate removal of treatment variation is warranted. This may occur as a result of the implementation of published national guidance.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001603
PMCID: PMC3533005  PMID: 23144258
Primary Care; Rheumatology
15.  Knee Arthroplasty and Risk of Hip Fracture: A Population-Based, Case–Control Study 
Calcified Tissue International  2011;90(2):144-150.
The majority of knee arthroplasties (KAs) are performed in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Although bone mass may be increased in these patients, subjects with knee OA may have an increased risk of hip fracture, possibly due to an increased severity of falls. However, in patients with KAs, risk of hip fracture has not been studied extensively. We evaluated the association between KAs and hip fracture risk in a population-based case–control study using the Dutch PHARMO Record Linkage System (1991–2002, n = 33,104). Cases were patients with a first admission for hip fracture; controls were matched by age, gender, and geographic location. Neither group had a previous history of fracture. Time since first KA was calculated. Analyses were adjusted for disease and drug history. A 54% increased hip fracture risk was found in patients who underwent KA (adjusted [adj.] OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). We found a strong effect modification by age in these patients: the youngest patients (aged 18–70 years) were at more increased risk for hip fracture (adj. OR = 2.76, 95% CI 1.16–6.59), while we could not detect a statistical increase in patients aged >80 years. Furthermore, the association tended to be greater during the first few years after surgery, although it did not reach statistical significance. We found that KAs are associated with a 54% increased risk of hip fracture, in particular among adult patients aged <71 years old. Fracture risk assessment could be considered in patients who are about to undergo a KA.
doi:10.1007/s00223-011-9558-1
PMCID: PMC3271227  PMID: 22179584
Knee arthroplasty; Fracture; Osteoarthritis; Bone density
16.  Recommendations for standardization and phenotype definitions in genetic studies of osteoarthritis: the TREAT-OA consortium 
Objective
To address the need for standardization of osteoarthritis (OA) phenotypes by examining the effect of heterogeneity among symptomatic (SOA) and radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA) phenotypes.
Methods
Descriptions of OA phenotypes of the 28 studies involved in the TREAT-OA consortium were collected. To investigate whether different OA definitions result in different association results, we created hip OA definitions used within the consortium in the Rotterdam Study-I and tested the association of hip OA with gender, age and BMI using one-way ANOVA. For radiographic OA, we standardized the hip, knee and hand ROA definitions and calculated prevalence's of ROA before and after standardization in 9 cohort studies. This procedure could only be performed in cohort studies and standardization of SOA definitions was not feasible at this moment.
Results
In this consortium, all studies with symptomatic OA phenotypes (knee, hip and hand) used a different definition and/or assessment of OA status. For knee, hip and hand radiographic OA 5, 4 and 7 different definitions were used, respectively. Different hip OA definitions do lead to different association results. For example, we showed in the Rotterdam Study-I that hip OA defined as “at least definite JSN and one definite osteophyte” was not associated with gender (p=0.22), but defined as “at least one definite osteophyte” was significantly associated with gender (p=3×10−9). Therefore, a standardization process was undertaken for radiographic OA definitions. Before standardization a wide range of ROA prevalence's was observed in the 9 cohorts studied. After standardization the range in prevalence of knee and hip ROA was small. Standardization of SOA phenotypes was not possible due to the case-control design of the studies.
Conclusion
Phenotype definitions influence the prevalence of OA and association with clinical variables. ROA phenotypes within the TREAT-OA consortium were standardized to reduce heterogeneity and improve power in future genetics studies.
doi:10.1016/j.joca.2010.10.027
PMCID: PMC3236091  PMID: 21059398
17.  Forefoot pathology in rheumatoid arthritis identified with ultrasound may not localise to areas of highest pressure: cohort observations at baseline and twelve months 
Background
Plantar pressures are commonly used as clinical measures, especially to determine optimum foot orthotic design. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) high plantar foot pressures have been linked to metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint radiological erosion scores. However, the sensitivity of foot pressure measurement to soft tissue pathology within the foot is unknown. The aim of this study was to observe plantar foot pressures and forefoot soft tissue pathology in patients who have RA.
Methods
A total of 114 patients with established RA (1987 ACR criteria) and 50 healthy volunteers were assessed at baseline. All RA participants returned for reassessment at twelve months. Interface foot-shoe plantar pressures were recorded using an F-Scan® system. The presence of forefoot soft tissue pathology was assessed using a DIASUS musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) system. Chi-square analyses and independent t-tests were used to determine statistical differences between baseline and twelve months. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to determine interrelationships between soft tissue pathology and foot pressures.
Results
At baseline, RA patients had a significantly higher peak foot pressures compared to healthy participants and peak pressures were located in the medial aspect of the forefoot in both groups. In contrast, RA participants had US detectable soft tissue pathology in the lateral aspect of the forefoot. Analysis of person specific data suggests that there are considerable variations over time with more than half the RA cohort having unstable presence of US detectable forefoot soft tissue pathology. Findings also indicated that, over time, changes in US detectable soft tissue pathology are out of phase with changes in foot-shoe interface pressures both temporally and spatially.
Conclusions
We found that US detectable forefoot soft tissue pathology may be unrelated to peak forefoot pressures and suggest that patients with RA may biomechanically adapt to soft tissue forefoot pathology. In addition, we have observed that, in patients with RA, interface foot-shoe pressures and the presence of US detectable forefoot pathology may vary substantially over time. This has implications for clinical strategies that aim to offload peak plantar pressures.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-4-25
PMCID: PMC3254591  PMID: 22112624
18.  Large Scale Replication Study of the Association between HLA Class II/BTNL2 Variants and Osteoarthritis of the Knee in European-Descent Populations 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23371.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a major cause of disability. This study evaluates the association in Caucasian populations of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapping to the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) region and deriving from a genome wide association scan (GWAS) of knee OA in Japanese populations. The frequencies for rs10947262 were compared in 36,408 controls and 5,749 knee OA cases from European-descent populations. rs7775228 was tested in 32,823 controls and 1,837 knee OA cases of European descent. The risk (major) allele at rs10947262 in Caucasian samples was not significantly associated with an odds ratio (OR)  = 1.07 (95%CI 0.94 -1.21; p = 0.28). For rs7775228 the meta-analysis resulted in OR = 0.94 (95%CI 0.81-1.09; p = 0.42) for the allele associated with risk in the Japanese GWAS. In Japanese individuals these two SNPs are in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) (r2 = 0.86) with the HLA class II haplotype DRB1*1502 DQA1*0103 DQB1*0601 (frequency 8%). In Caucasian and Chinese samples, using imputed data, these SNPs appear not to be in LD with that haplotype (r2<0.07). The rs10947262 and rs7775228 variants are not associated with risk of knee OA in European descent populations and they do not appear tag the same HLA class II haplotype as they do in Japanese individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023371
PMCID: PMC3154440  PMID: 21853121
19.  Association between DHEAS and Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women: A 15-Year Longitudinal Population-Based Study 
Calcified Tissue International  2011;89(4):295-302.
Our aim was to examine the association between serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) at baseline and BMD change at the femoral neck (FN) and lumbar spine (LS) in postmenopausal women during a 15-year follow-up. All participants were from the Chingford Study. BMD at the FN and LS were measured eight times during the 15-year follow-up by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. DHEAS at baseline was measured using radioimmunoassay. Data on height, weight, and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) status were obtained at each visit. Multilevel linear regression modeling was used to examine the association between longitudinal BMD change at the FN and LS and DHEAS at baseline. Postmenopausal women (n = 1,003) aged 45–68 years (mean 54.7) at baseline were included in the study. After adjustment for baseline age, estradiol, HRT, and BMI, BMD at the FN decreased on average 0.49% (95% CI 0.31–0.71%) per year; and the decline was slowed down by 0.028% per squared year. Increase of DHEAS (each micromole per liter) was associated with 0.49% less bone loss at the FN (95% CI 0.21–0.71%, P = 0.001). However, this strong association became slightly weaker over time. Similar but weaker results were obtained for LS BMD. Our data suggest that high serum DHEAS at baseline is associated with less bone loss at both FN and LS and this association diminishes over time. The nature of the association is unclear, but such an association implies that, in managing BMD loss, women might benefit from maintaining a high level of DHEAS.
doi:10.1007/s00223-011-9518-9
PMCID: PMC3175043  PMID: 21789637
BMD; DHEAS; Osteoporosis; Longitudinal study; Postmenopausal
20.  Common genetic determinants of vitamin D insufficiency: a genome-wide association study 
Wang, Thomas J. | Zhang, Feng | Richards, J. Brent | Kestenbaum, Bryan | van Meurs, Joyce B. | Berry, Diane | Kiel, Douglas | Streeten, Elizabeth A. | Ohlsson, Claes | Koller, Daniel L. | Palotie, Leena | Cooper, Jason D. | O'Reilly, Paul F. | Houston, Denise K. | Glazer, Nicole L. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Peacock, Munro | Shi, Julia | Rivadeneira, Fernando | McCarthy, Mark I. | Anneli, Pouta | de Boer, Ian H. | Mangino, Massimo | Kato, Bernet | Smyth, Deborah J. | Booth, Sarah L. | Jacques, Paul F. | Burke, Greg L. | Goodarzi, Mark | Cheung, Ching-Lung | Wolf, Myles | Rice, Kenneth | Goltzman, David | Hidiroglou, Nick | Ladouceur, Martin | Hui, Siu L. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Hocking, Lynne J. | Hart, Deborah | Arden, Nigel K. | Cooper, Cyrus | Malik, Suneil | Fraser, William D. | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Zhai, Guangju | Macdonald, Helen | Forouhi, Nita G. | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Reid, David M. | Hakim, Alan | Dennison, Elaine | Liu, Yongmei | Power, Chris | Stevens, Helen E. | Jaana, Laitinen | Vasan, Ramachandran S. | Soranzo, Nicole | Bojunga, Jörg | Psaty, Bruce M. | Lorentzon, Mattias | Foroud, Tatiana | Harris, Tamara B. | Hofman, Albert | Jansson, John-Olov | Cauley, Jane A. | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Gibson, Quince | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Karasik, David | Siscovick, David S. | Econs, Michael J. | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Florez, Jose C. | Todd, John A. | Dupuis, Josee | Hypponen, Elina | Spector, Timothy D.
Lancet  2010;376(9736):180-188.
Background
Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining musculoskeletal health. Recently, vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to a number of extraskeletal disorders, including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Determinants of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) include sun exposure and dietary intake, but its high heritability suggests that genetic determinants may also play a role.
Methods
We performed a genome-wide association study of 25-OH D among ∼30,000 individuals of European descent from 15 cohorts. Five cohorts were designated as discovery cohorts (n=16,125), five as in silico replication cohorts (n=9,366), and five as de novo replication cohorts (n=8,378). Association results were combined using z-score-weighted meta-analysis. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25-OH D <75 nmol/L or <50 nmol/L.
Findings
Variants at three loci reached genome-wide significance in the discovery cohorts, and were confirmed in the replication cohorts: 4p12 (overall P=1.9 × 10-109 for rs2282679, in GC); 11q12 (P=2.1 × 10-27 for rs12785878, near DHCR7); 11p15 (P=3.3 × 10-20 for rs10741657, near CYP2R1). Variants at an additional locus (20q13, CYP24A1) were genome-wide significant in the pooled sample (P=6.0 × 10-10 for rs6013897). A genotype score was constructed using the three confirmed variants. Those in the top quartile of genotype scores had 2- to 2.5-fold elevated odds of vitamin D insufficiency (P≤1 × 10-26).
Interpretation
Variants near genes involved in cholesterol synthesis (DHCR7), hydroxylation (CYP2R1, CYP24A1), and vitamin D transport (GC) influence vitamin D status. Genetic variation at these loci identifies individuals of European descent who have substantially elevated risk of vitamin D insufficiency.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60588-0
PMCID: PMC3086761  PMID: 20541252
21.  Improvement in symptoms and signs in the forefoot of patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-TNF therapy 
Background
Inhibition of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is an effective way of reducing synovitis and preventing joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), yet very little is known about its specific effect on foot pain and disability. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether anti-TNF therapy alters the presence of forefoot pathology and/or reduces foot pain and disability.
Methods
Consecutive RA patients starting anti-TNF therapy (infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab) were assessed for presence of synovial hypertrophy and synovitis in the 2nd and 5th metatarso-phalangeal (MTP) joints and plantar forefoot bursal hypertrophy before and 12 weeks after therapy. Tender MTP joints and swollen bursae were established clinically by an experienced podiatrist and ultrasound (US) images were acquired and interpreted by a radiologist. Assessment of patient reported disease impact on the foot was performed using the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index (MFPDI).
Results
31 patients (24 female, 7 male) with RA (12 seronegative, 19 seropositive) completed the study: mean age 59.6 (SD 10.1) years, disease duration 11.1 (SD 10.5) years, and previous number of Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs 3.0 (1.6). Significant differences after therapy were found for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (t = 4.014, p < 0.001), C-reactive protein (t = 3.889, p = 0.001), 28 joint Disease Activity Score (t = 3.712, p = 0.0001), Visual Analog Scale (t = 2.735, p = 0.011) and Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index (t = 3.712, p = 0.001).
Presence of MTP joint synovial hypertrophy on US was noted in 67.5% of joints at baseline and 54.8% of joints at twelve weeks. Presence of plantar forefoot bursal hypertrophy on US was noted in 83.3% of feet at baseline and 75% at twelve weeks. Although there was a trend for reduction in observed presence of person specific forefoot pathology, when the frequencies were analysed (McNemar) this was not significant.
Conclusions
Significant improvements were seen in patient reported foot pain and disability 12 weeks after commencing TNF inhibition in RA, but this may not be enough time to detect changes in forefoot pathology.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-3-10
PMCID: PMC2901324  PMID: 20565792
22.  Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging of the plantar forefoot in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: inter-observer agreement between a podiatrist and a radiologist 
Background
The use of musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) in the diagnosis and management of foot and ankle musculoskeletal pathology is increasing. Due to the wide use of MSUS and the depth and breadth of training required new proposals advocate tailored learning of the technique to discrete fields of practice. The aims of the study were to evaluate the inter-observer agreement between a MSUS radiologist and a podiatrist, who had completed basic skills training in MSUS, in the MSUS assessment of the forefoot of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Methods
A consecutive sample of thirty-two patients with rheumatoid arthritis was assessed for presence of synovitis, erosions and bursitis within the forefoot using MSUS. All MSUS assessments were performed independently on the same day by a podiatrist and one of two Consultant Radiologists experienced in MSUS.
Results
Moderate agreement on image acquisition and interpretation was achieved for bursitis (kappa 0.522; p < 0.01) and erosions (kappa 0.636; p < 0.01) and fair agreement for synovitis (kappa 0.216; p < 0.05) during the primary assessments. Following a further training session, substantial agreement (kappa 0.702) between the two investigators was recorded. The sensitivity of the podiatrist using MSUS was 82.4% for detection of bursitis, 83.0% for detection of erosion and 84.0% for detection of synovitis. Specificity of the podiatrist using MSUS was 88.9% for detection of bursitis, 80.7% for detection of erosion and 35.9% for detection of synovitis.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated good inter-observer agreement between a podiatrist and radiologist on MSUS assessment of the forefoot, particularly for bursitis and erosions, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There is scope to further evaluate and consider the role of podiatrists in the MSUS imaging of the foot following appropriate training and also in the development of reliable protocols for MSUS assessment of the foot.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-1-5
PMCID: PMC2553775  PMID: 18822149
23.  The Ile585Val TRPV1 variant is involved in risk of painful knee osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2011;70(9):1556-1561.
Objective
To assess if a coding variant in the gene encoding transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1) is associated with genetic risk of painful knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods
The Ile585Val TRPV1 variant encoded by rs8065080 was genotyped in 3270 cases of symptomatic knee OA, 1098 cases of asymptomatic knee OA and 3852 controls from seven cohorts from the UK, the USA and Australia. The genetic association between the low-pain genotype Ile–Ile and risk of symptomatic and asymptomatic knee OA was assessed.
Results
The TRPV1 585 Ile–Ile genotype, reported to be associated with lower thermal pain sensitivity, was associated with a lower risk of symptomatic knee OA in a comparison of symptomatic cases with healthy controls, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.75 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.88; p=0.00039 by meta-analysis) after adjustment for age, sex and body mass index. No difference was seen between asymptomatic OA cases and controls (OR=1.02, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.27 p=0.86) but the Ile–Ile genotype was associated with lower risk of symptomatic versus asymptomatic knee OA adjusting for covariates and radiographic severity (OR=0.73, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.94 p=0.0136). TRPV1 expression in articular cartilage was increased by inflammatory cytokines (tumour necrosis factor α and interleukin 1). However, there were no differences in TRPV1 expression in healthy and arthritic synovial tissue.
Conclusions
A genotype involved in lower peripheral pain sensitivity is significantly associated with a decreased risk of painful knee OA. This indicates a role for the pro-nociceptive gene TRPV1 in genetic susceptibility to symptomatic knee OA, which may also be influenced by a role for this molecule in cartilage function.
doi:10.1136/ard.2010.148122
PMCID: PMC3147243  PMID: 21616913
24.  Association between bisphosphonate use and implant survival after primary total arthroplasty of the knee or hip: population based retrospective cohort study  
Objectives To test whether bisphosphonate use is related to improved implant survival after total arthroplasty of the knee or hip.
Design Population based retrospective cohort study.
Setting Primary care data from the United Kingdom.
Participants All patients undergoing primary total arthroplasty of the knee (n=18 726) or hip (n=23 269) in 1986-2006 within the United Kingdom’s General Practice Research Database. We excluded patients with a history of hip fracture before surgery or rheumatoid arthritis, and individuals younger than 40 years at surgery.
Intervention Bisphosphonate users were classified as patients with at least six prescriptions of bisphosphonates or at least six months of prescribed bisphosphonate treatment with more than 80% adherence before revision surgery.
Outcome measures Revision arthroplasties occurring after surgery, identified by READ and OXMIS codes. Parametric survival models were used to determine effects on implant survival with propensity score adjustment to account for confounding by indication.
Results Of 41 995 patients undergoing primary hip or knee arthroplasty, we identified 1912 bisphosphonate users, who had a lower rate of revision at five years than non-users (0.93% (95% confidence interval 0.52% to 1.68%) v 1.96% (1.80% to 2.14%)). Implant survival was significantly longer in bisphosphonate users than in non-users in propensity adjusted models (hazard ratio 0.54 (0.29 to 0.99); P=0.047) and had an almost twofold increase in time to revision after hip or knee arthroplasty (time ratio 1.96 (1.01 to 3.82)). Assuming 2% failure over five years, we estimated that the number to treat to avoid one revision was 107 for oral bisphosphonates.
Conclusions In patients undergoing lower limb arthroplasty, bisphosphonate use was associated with an almost twofold increase in implant survival time. These findings require replication and testing in experimental studies for confirmation.
doi:10.1136/bmj.d7222
PMCID: PMC3232250  PMID: 22147909
25.  Mortality rates at 10 years after metal-on-metal hip resurfacing compared with total hip replacement in England: retrospective cohort analysis of hospital episode statistics 
Objectives To compare 10 year mortality rates among patients undergoing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing and total hip replacement in England.
Design Retrospective cohort study.
Setting English hospital episode statistics database linked to mortality records from the Office for National Statistics.
Population All adults who underwent primary elective hip replacement for osteoarthritis from April 1999 to March 2012. The exposure of interest was prosthesis type: cemented total hip replacement, uncemented total hip replacement, and metal-on-metal hip resurfacing. Confounding variables included age, sex, Charlson comorbidity index, rurality, area deprivation, surgical volume, and year of operation.
Main outcome measures All cause mortality. Propensity score matching was used to minimise confounding by indication. Kaplan-Meier plots estimated the probability of survival up to 10 years after surgery. Multilevel Cox regression modelling, stratified on matched sets, described the association between prosthesis type and time to death, accounting for variation across hospital trusts.
Results 7437 patients undergoing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing were matched to 22 311 undergoing cemented total hip replacement; 8101 patients undergoing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing were matched to 24 303 undergoing uncemented total hip replacement. 10 year rates of cumulative mortality were 271 (3.6%) for metal-on-metal hip resurfacing versus 1363 (6.1%) for cemented total hip replacement, and 239 (3.0%) for metal-on-metal hip resurfacing versus 999 (4.1%) for uncemented total hip replacement. Patients undergoing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing had an increased survival probability (hazard ratio 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.45 to 0.59) for cemented hip replacement; 0.55 (0.47 to 0.65) for uncemented hip replacement). There was no evidence for an interaction with age or sex.
Conclusions Patients with hip osteoarthritis undergoing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing have reduced mortality in the long term compared with those undergoing cemented or uncemented total hip replacement. This difference persisted after extensive adjustment for confounding factors available in our data. The study results can be applied to matched populations, which exclude patients who are very old and have had complex total hip replacements. Although residual confounding is possible, the observed effect size is large. These findings require validation in external cohorts and randomised clinical trials.
doi:10.1136/bmj.f6549
PMCID: PMC3898581  PMID: 24284336

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