Study finds a strong connection between hyperuricemia and increased hand osteoarthritis risk

Study  finds a strong connection between hyperuricemia and increased hand osteoarthritis risk 

The etiology of hand osteoarthritis (OA) is largely elusive, demanding further research to understand its causes and guide the development of preventive and treatment approaches. Past research has highlighted the role of hyperuricemia  in triggering the pro-inflammatory reaction, potentially influencing the development of OA. A recent study in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Open has  revealed a notable correlation between higher occurrences of hand OA  and hyperuricemia. 

Zhu and colleagues conducted the comprehensive population-based study involving 3,628 participants from the Xiangya OA Study, a community-centered observational research initiative. The findings revealed that individuals dealing with hyperuricemia exhibited a higher prevalence of radiographic hand osteoarthritis (RHOA) compared to those with normouricaemia. Specifically, the prevalence was 26.9% versus 20.9%, resulting in an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 1.34 (with a 95% confidence interval from 1.11 to 1.61). 

The study further highlighted consistent associations in both men (aOR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.74) and women (aOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.74). Hyperuricemia notably correlated with bilateral symptomatic hand osteoarthritis (SHOA) (aOR 1.54, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.01) but did not exhibit a significant connection with unilateral radiographic hand osteoarthritis (aOR 1.13, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.45). Although not statistically significant, participants with hyperuricemia tended to showcase a higher prevalence of SHOA (aOR 1.39, 95% CI 0.94 to 2.07). 

Hyperuricemia, a prevalent metabolic disorder characterized by unusually high serum urate levels, has garnered attention due to its potential impact on health. It is a widespread and potentially incapacitating condition, imposing significant personal and socioeconomic burdens. The deposition of monosodium urate crystals resulting from hyperuricemia might inflict both mechanical and inflammatory harm on joint tissues, contributing to the onset or advancement of OA. 

Addressing how to prevent and effectively manage OA remains an unmet necessity within the realms of rheumatology and public health. The current discovery linking hyperuricemia to increased hand OA prevalence is noteworthy, highlighting a potentially modifiable factor. The analysis strongly suggests that hyperuricemia could serve as a crucial adjustable risk element for hand OA, warranting increased attention and future exploration across clinical and public health domains. 


Zhu Y, Li J, Zhang Y, Zhang W, Doherty M, Yang Z, et al. Association between hyperuricaemia and hand osteoarthritis: data from the Xiangya Osteoarthritis Study. RMD Open. 2023 Dec 1;9(4):e003683.