The Osseographic Scoring System (OSS) is a synthetic measure of skeletal aging that combines osteoporotic and osteoarthritic changes of the hand. The OSS is used to evaluate biological age in a population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between certain chronic morbidities and the skeletal biomarker of biological aging. We performed a population-based study on a large sample of individuals who were receiving no medications to treat or prevent chronic morbidities [668 male (age 18–89 years) and 608 female (age 18–81 years) Chuvashians]. Morbidity data obtained from the individuals' medical records was sorted into 16 categories. A one-way ANOVA was used to elucidate the association between morbidity and age-adjusted OSS score. Statistically significant differences between means of OSS scores in affected vs. nonaffected individuals were found in the rheumatic diseases group. Ischemic heart disease, pulmonary diseases, traumatic brain injuries, and gynecological diseases also showed differences; however, after correction for multiple testing, the results were statistically nonsignificant. We conclude that individuals who suffer from the mentioned chronic morbidities will show a higher degree of skeletal aging. Further research is needed to clarify the biological mechanisms of association between certain types of morbidities and changes in skeletal aging.
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Vol. 78 • No. 1