Pro-Inflammatory Biomarkers Combined with Body Composition Display a Strong Association with Knee Osteoarthritis in a Community-Based Study

Nader Tarabeih, Alexander Kalinkovich, Adel Shalata, Orabi Higla, Gregory Livshits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is one of the most common progressive, age-dependent chronic degenerative joint diseases. KOA often develops as a result of a gradual articular cartilage loss caused by its wear and tear. Numerous studies suggest that the degradation of the knee joint involves inflammatory components. This process is also associated with body composition, particularly being overweight and muscle mass loss. The present study aimed to search for novel circulating KOA inflammatory biomarkers, taking into account body composition characteristics. To this aim, we recruited 98 patients diagnosed and radiologically confirmed with KOA and 519 healthy controls from the Arab community in Israel. A panel of soluble molecules, related to inflammatory, metabolic, and musculoskeletal disorders, was measured by ELISA in plasma samples, while several body composition parameters were assessed with bioimpedance analysis. Statistical analysis, including multivariable logistic regression, revealed a number of the factors significantly associated with KOA, independently of age and sex. The most significant independent associations [OR (95% CI)] were fat body mass/body weight index—1.56 (1.20–2.02), systemic immune-inflammation index—4.03 (2.23–7.27), circulating vaspin levels—1.39 (1.15–1.68), follistatin/FSTL1 ratio—1.32 (1.02–1.70), and activin A/FSTL1 ratio—1.33 (1.01–1.75). Further clinical studies are warranted to confirm the relevance of these KOA-associated biological factors. Hereafter, they could serve as reliable biomarkers for KOA in the general human population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1315
Issue number9
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


This research was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant Number: 2054/19) and by the Ariel University Research & Development Department (Grant Number: RA2000000457) to G.L.

FundersFunder number
Ariel University Research & Development DepartmentRA2000000457
Israel Science Foundation2054/19


    • biomarker
    • body composition
    • inflammation
    • osteoarthritis


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