Epidemiological and clinical studies on the hand joint osteoarthritis
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Online publication date: 2010-12-20
Reumatologia 2010;48(6):380-384
The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and the clinical problems of the osteoarthritis of hand joints in the Polish population. We have assessed the hand joints (finger II, III, IV and V) of 100 persons aged 47–84, mean age: 62 years (50 men and 50 women). Heberden’s nodes (osteoarthritis of the distal interphalangeal joints) were found in hands of 59 persons and Bouchard’s nodes (proximal joints) – in 27. In the majority of the joints, degenerative changes were small or minimal (only palpable). The second finger was the most often affected one, while the fourth finger was the least affected. Advanced changes were the most frequent in the second finger. The prevalence of the Bouchard’s nodes was 2 times higher; and that of the Heberden’s nodes was almost 2 times higher in women than in men. In right hands slightly more nodes were found but nodes in left hands were more advanced. The affected hands were painful in 64% of women and 36% of men. Seventeen percent of men and 8% of women with osteoarthritis of hand joints complained of real impairment of the hands’ function. Disability of hands was much greater in painful hands (6.98 points of Dreiser’s index) than in asymptomatic hands (1.24 points). As many as 32 osteoarthritic patients looked for some kind of treatment, mainly pharmacotherapy. Osteoarthritis of hands is very common in the Polish population. For some patients this is an important health problem.
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