The study, which combined the results of genetic data analysis from four well-defined population groups identified a new genetic marker associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA) among North American Caucasians. The genetic marker may identify people who are at increased chance of developing OA. The new findings can help scientists better understand the genetic mechanisms behind OA development and its progression, as well find new methods to prevent and treat OA. Importantly, the study also confirmed three other previously identified genetic markers associated with knee OA.
In research of this type, having genetic data from a sufficient number of study participants is very important. Since the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project (JoCoOA) is one of the largest and longest-lasting OA studies in the U.S, its contribution of collected genetic data as well the participation of JoCoOA scientists and data analysis specialists played a critical role in this research. Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, who is director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center Director was a study author, and is also the Principal Investigator for JoCoOA.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the study, and findings were recently published in Arthritis and Rheumatology. Read about the study via This Link.