When compared with a control group, this combination created a perfect storm – one that was found to increase the pain and progression of knee osteoarthritis. The study involved 22 women with OA, and 22 women of the same age without OA.
“It is the first study, to our knowledge, to specifically characterize changes in circulating monocytes in individuals with OA compared to healthy women,” said senior author Dawn Bowdish, a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster, and member of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging.
“We know that changes in monocytes contribute to the development of chronic inflammatory conditions. If we can target these monocytes in OA, we may be able to slow down disease progression or decrease the risk of other chronic inflammatory diseases,” she said.
Chronic inflammation and osteoarthritis has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and depression among adults with OA. While the cause of OA remains unknown, multiple factors contribute to its risk, progression and severity.