The effects of orthopedic pathologies on the prevalence of hip osteoarthritis
Sanchez, Aubrie M.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is a leading cause of disability among aging adults. In the U.S., many individuals living with total hip arthroplasties attribute OA as the cause. Because the majority of anthropological OA research excludes pathological individuals (i.e., individuals with systemic disease, traumatic injuries, or arthroplasties), little is known about how prostheses and pathologies impact OA. This project adds to the research surrounding OA by investigating its relationship with age, disease, and prostheses. The proximal femora of 186 African- and European-American individuals (21-95 years old) from the Edmonds Orthopedic Pathology Collection (National Museum of Health and Medicine; Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) were analyzed. These individuals were grouped into three cohorts: non-disease; disease; and previous injury/prosthesis. Jurmain’s (1990) method was used to score OA, using an ordinal fourpoint scale to categorize OA changes as: none/slight; moderate; severe; and ankylosis. Results show that osteoarthritic hip changes are positively correlated with age and presence of a prosthesis, and that systemic diseases, such as cancer, increase the likelihood of OA in an individual. Results from Chi-square tests, exploratory data analysis, and ordinal logistic regression show that there is a statistically significant relationship (p<0.000) between degree of OA, age, recorded disease, and evidence of previous injury or prostheses. In contrast with the expectation that different populations would exhibit different patterns of OA, no sex or ancestry effects are observed. These results will help researchers better understand the etiology and contemporary risk factors of OA, as well as contribute data to OA research on an underrepresented sample.