Hand bone midshaft enthesophytes: the influence of age, sex, and heritability

L. Kalichman*, I. Malkin, E. Kobyliansky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aims of the present study were (1) to evaluate whether development of enthesophytes is an age- and/or sex-associated phenomenon; (2) to clarify whether enthesophyte development is controlled by genetics; (3) to evaluate the correlations between the enthesophytes and osteophytes of the hand joints. Design: The studied cohort comprised 359 Chuvashian (Russian Federation) pedigrees (424 nuclear families) and included 786 males and 723 females aged 18-90 years. The enthesophyte score (ES) was constructed as the overall number of enthesophytes at the midshaft of the phalanges of the second to the fifth fingers of both hands. The osteophyte score (OS) was constructed similarly. We used variance component (VC) analysis to examine the age-related patterns and compare the contribution of the genetic and common environmental factors to ES and OS variations. Results and conclusions: After age 25, ES increases with age (on average linearly). Age explains 45% of the ES variation in males but only 25% of the variation in females, in contrast to about 75% of the variation of OS in both sexes. At any age, males showed higher ES than females and the difference between sexes increased with age. Genetic components explained 20% of enthesophyte development variation. We did not find common additive genetic factors for ES and OS. The correlation coefficients between ES and OS were r = 0.62 (P = 0.0001) in males and r = 0.50 (P = 0.0001) in females. After age adjustment, the correlation decreased to r = 0.087 (P = 0.014) and r = 0.14 (P = 0.001) correspondingly. Most probably, enthesophytes and osteophytes are manifestations of different etiological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1119
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Chuvashia
  • Enthesophytes
  • Hand bones
  • Heritability
  • Osteophytes
  • Skeletal aging


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