Cardiovascular disease is associated with activity limitations in osteoarthritis patients

Author(s): Visman IM, Van den Oever IAM, de Rooij M, Roorda LD, Lems WF, Nurmohamed MT, Dekker J, Van der Leeden M & Van der Esch M

Background: To investigate the associations between Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors with activity limitations in patients with knee or hip Osteoarthritis (OA). Methods and Findings: Consecutive patients were included from the Amsterdam Osteoarthritis cohort. A questionnaire assessed CVD and its risk factors and subsequently were confirmed by medical file review. The WOMAC-physical functioning subscale (PF), stair-climb tests and the Get Up and Go (GUG) were used to assess activity limitations. The associations of CVD and CV risk factors with activity limitations, adjusted for sex, age and disease severity were calculated using regression analyses. CVD was reported by 64 out of 447 patients (14%); 32 out of 148 men (22%) and 32 out of 299 women (11%). CV risk factors were reported in 9% (smoking) to 82 % (overweight) of the patients. CVD and the CV risk factors hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and obesity were associated with a worse performance score on the GUG and stair-climb test. Women with CVD took 51% longer on the Get up and Go test (16.0 vs. 10.6 seconds). Both men and women with CVD performed significantly worse on the stair climb descent test (6.8 vs. 5.3 for men, and 11.3 vs. 7.1 for women). Conclusions: Patients with knee or hip OA show more activity limitations in association with CVD or CV risk factors. An intervention approach to improve daily functioning in the subgroup of patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis tailored to these patients’ CVD and CV risk factors is warranted.