OBJECTIVE: Vascular pathology (changes in blood vessels) and osteoarthritis (OA) are both common chronic conditions associated with aging and obesity, but whether vascular pathology is a risk factor for OA is unclear. The aim of this study was to systematically review the evidence for an association between vascular pathology and risk of joint-specific OA. METHODS: Scopus, Ovid Medline, and EMBASE were searched from inception to February 2019. MeSH terms and keywords were used to identify studies examining the association between vascular pathology and OA. Two reviewers independently extracted the data and assessed the methodological quality. Qualitative evidence synthesis was performed. RESULTS: Fifteen studies with high (n = 3), fair (n = 3), or low (n = 9) quality were included. Features of vascular pathology included atherosclerosis, vascular stiffness, and endothelial dysfunction in different vascular beds. There was evidence for an association between vascular pathology and risk of hand OA in women but not men, and between vascular pathology and risk of knee OA in both men and women. Only 2 studies examined hip OA showing no association between vascular pathology and risk of hip OA. CONCLUSION: There is evidence suggesting an association between vascular pathology and risk of hand and knee OA, with a potential causal relationship for knee OA. Based on the limited evidence, it is hard to conclude an association for hip OA. Further stronger evidence is needed to determine whether there is a causal relationship.
- ARTERIAL WALL THICKNESS
- CAROTID INTIMA-MEDIA THICKNESS
- CAROTID PLAQUE
- VASCULAR PATHOLOGY