Physical activity patterns, genetic susceptibility, and risk of hip/knee osteoarthritis: a prospective cohort study based on the UK Biobank

J. Zhu, W. Chen, Y. Hu, Y. Qu, H. Yang, Y. Zeng, C. Hou, F. Ge, Z. Zhou*, H. Song*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The effect of physical activity on hip/knee osteoarthritis (OA) and how it varies by genetic susceptibility to OA remains inconclusive. Methods: In a cohort study of UK Biobank, 436,166 OA-free participants were recruited in 2006–2010 and followed for knee/hip OA until the end of 2020. 28 physical activity-related items were collected at baseline. Cox regression was used to estimate associations between physical activity behaviors, as well as major activity patterns (i.e., significant principal components[PCs] identified by principal component analysis), and risk of OA, adjusting for multiple confounders. We further stratified the analyses by polygenic risk score (PRS) for OA to examine the impact of genetic susceptibility to OA on the studied association. Results: During a mean follow-up of 11.15 years, 13,227 hip and 21,119 knee OA cases were identified. 19, out of 28, studied items showed associations with increased OA risk. Compared with low adherence group(<1st tertile of PC score for each pattern), individuals with high adherence to five identified patterns were associated with increased risk of OA. The moderate adherence to “strenuous sports”(HR = 0.93, 95%CI: 0.89–0.97) and “walking for pleasure”(HR = 0.93, 95%CI: 0.89–0.98) patterns was associated with reduced OA. Similar risk patterns were obtained in the stratified analysis by PRS levels for OA. Conclusion: High intensity of most activity patterns were associated with increased OA. However, a protective effect was suggested for moderate adherence to patterns of “strenuous sports” and “walking for pleasure” that consistent across different genetic susceptibilities, underscoring the potential benefits of moderate-intensity physical activity on OA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1090
Number of pages12
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 The Author(s)

Other keywords

  • Cohort study
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Hip/knee osteoarthritis
  • Major activity patterns
  • Physical activity


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