The objective of this review was to examine the relationship between osteoarthritis (OA) and mobility-related comorbidities, specifically diabetes mellitus (DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It also investigated the relationship between OA and mortality.
An overview of meta-analyses was conducted by performing two targeted searches from inception to June 2020. The association between OA and (i) DM or CVD ( PubMed and Embase); and (ii) mortality ( PubMed) was investigated. Meta-analyses were selected if they included studies that examined adults with OA at any site and reported associations between OA and DM, CVD, or mortality. Evidence was synthesized qualitatively.
Six meta-analyses met inclusion criteria. One meta-analysis of 20 studies demonstrated a statistically significant association between OA and DM, with pooled odds ratio of 1.41 (95% confidence interval: 1.21, 1.65;  = 1,040,175 patients). One meta-analysis of 15 studies demonstrated significantly increased risk of CVD among OA patients, with a pooled risk ratio of 1.24 (1.12, 1.37,  = 358,944 patients). Stratified by type of CVD, OA was shown to be associated with increased heart failure (HF) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) and reduced transient ischemic attack (TIA). There was no association reported for stroke or myocardial infarction (MI). Three meta-analyses did not find a significant association between OA (any site) and all-cause mortality. However, OA was found to be significantly associated with cardiovascular-related death across two meta-analyses.
The identified meta-analyses reported significantly increased risk of both DM and CVD (particularly, HF and IHD) among OA patients. It was not possible to confirm consistent directional or causal relationships. OA was found to be associated with increased mortality, but mostly in relation to CVD-related mortality, suggesting that further study is warranted in this area.