Thursday, 10 April 2014

Finger study points to knee problems

Osteoarthritis is a major public health problem with significant morbidity and disability associated with the knees and hips. Anthropological studies suggest that there are consistent sex differences in the ratio of the lengths of the index (2D) and ring (4D) fingers (expressed as 2D:4D) such that men have a lower average 2D:4D than women.

A research team from the DEPM’s Musculoskeletal Unit have examined the relationship between 2D:4D and the risk of severe knee and hip osteoarthritis requiring total joint replacement.

According to the study, greater right 2D:4D and average right and left 2D:4D were associated with a reduced incidence of total knee replacement. These associations persisted when participants whose fingers had any features that might have affected the validity of 2D:4D measurements were excluded. No significant associations were observed between 2D:4D and the incidence of total hip replacement.

The study concluded that a lower 2D:4D is associated with an increased risk of severe knee osteoarthritis requiring total knee replacement, but not the risk of severe hip osteoarthritis.

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