Examining The Association Between Clusters Of Cardiovascular Risk Factors And Osteoarthritis Pain In Racial Groups

Virginia Content

Authors:  Staja Booker, PhD, RN, Josue Cardoso, BS, BA, Kimberly Sibille, PhD, MA, Burel Goodin, PhD, Roland Staud, MD, Roger Fillingim, PhD

Faculty Mentor:  Staja Booker, PhD, RN

College:  College of Nursing


Research shows that individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This analysis investigated the association between CV risk factors and experimental pain sensitivity in non-Hispanic Blacks (NHBs) and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) with OA. Sample consisted of 188 participants between 45-85 years of age. Participants completed the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and quantitative sensory testing (QST). Descriptive statistics and ANCOVA were used to summarize study variables and determine differences between mean pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) and CV risk factors by race and gender. More NHBs had a higher proportion of CV risk factors (3-5) compared to NHWs (0-4). NHBs also reported a significantly higher pain intensity (9.09, SD=3.99, p<.0001) on the WOMAC compared to NHWs (6.49, SD=4.21). There was no difference between mean PPTs for either groups, but PPTs were lower in NHBs and females. Hypertension was the only CV risk factor predictive of PPT at the medial knee for both race and gender models (p=0.03, p=0.02, respectively). We believe that race- and gender-specific clustering of CV risk factors is important in predicting OA pain and hierarchical cluster analyses are currently ongoing. Our findings may identify shared biological and behavioral mechanisms.

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