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Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Jun 25. doi: 10.1002/art.41023. [Epub ahead of print]

The maternal and paternal effects on clinical and surgical definitions of osteoarthritis.

Author information

Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Oslo, Norway.
Department of General Practice, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway.
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Orthopaedics, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Lund, Sweden.



It is currently unknown whether osteoarthritis (OA) is inherited mainly from the mother or the father, or both. We aimed to explore the maternal and paternal effects on offspring hip, knee and hand OA, using a recurrence risk estimation approach.


Participants from the Musculoskeletal pain in Ullensaker Study (MUST), and the Nor-Twin OA study (mean (SD) age 64 (9) and 49 (11) years, 69% and 56% women, respectively), reported whether their mother and/or father had OA. We calculated whether maternal and paternal OA increased the risk of 1) Surgical definitions of hip and knee OA (total joint replacement), and 2) Clinical definitions of hip, knee and hand OA (American College of Rheumatology criteria) using logistic regression.


Maternal OA consistently increased the risk of offspring OA across different OA locations and severities. Having a mother with OA increased the risk of any OA in daughters (RRMUST =1.13, 95% CI=1.02-1.25, RRN or-Twin =1.44, 95% CI=1.05-1.97), but not, or less certainly in sons (RRMUST =1.16, 95% CI=0.95-1.43, RRN or-Twin =1.31, 95% CI=0.71- 2.41). Having a father with OA was less likely to increase the risk of any OA in daughters (RRMUST =1.00, 95% CI=0.85-1.16, RRN or-Twin =1.52, 95% CI=0.94-2.46) and sons (RRMUST =1.08, 95% CI=0.83-1.41, RRN or-Twin =0.93, 95% CI=0.35-2.48).


OA in the mother increased the risk of surgical and clinical definitions of hip, knee and hand OA in the offspring and particularly in daughters. Our findings imply that heredity of OA may be linked to maternal genes and/or maternal-specific factors such as the fetal environment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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