Journal article

The evolutionary origins of osteoarthritis: a comparative skeletal study of hand disease in 2 primates.

KK Lim, J Rogers, L Shepstone, PA Dieppe

J Rheumatol | Published : 1995


OBJECTIVE: To test the evolutionary hypothesis for joint failure by comparing the prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) in 2 primate hands with different thumb usage. METHODS: We studied the hand skeletons of 32 humans and 32 macaques for OA. We defined OA as the presence of joint eburnation. RESULTS: The prevalence of OA in the distal interphalangeal joints was 26.7 and 50% for humans and monkeys, respectively. For the thumb base it was 37.5% in humans compared with 3.3% in macaques. The relative risk of thumb base OA in macaques may be due to the rudimentary design of the thumb. This finding supports the evolutionary hypothesis for joint failure and it may be applicable to many other joint sit..

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University of Melbourne Researchers