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We investigated the relationship between lower limb osteoarthritis (OA) and muscle strength and power (assessed by jumping mechanography) in UK community-dwelling older adults. We recruited 249 older adults (144 males, 105 females). OA was assessed clinically at the knee according to ACR criteria and radiographically, at the knee and hip, using Kellgren and Lawrence grading. Two-footed jumping tests were performed using a Leonardo Mechanography Ground Reaction Force Platform to assess maximum muscle force, power and Esslinger Fitness Index. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between OA and jumping outcomes. Results are presented as β (95% confidence interval). The mean age of participants was 75.2 years (SD 2.6). Males had a significantly higher maximum relative power during lift off (mean 25.7 W/kg vs. 19.9 W/kg) and maximum total force during lift off (mean 21.0 N/kg vs. 19.1 N/kg) than females. In adjusted models, we found significant associations in males between clinical knee OA and maximum relative power [- 6.00 (CI - 9.10, - 2.94)] and Esslinger Fitness Index [- 19.3 (- 29.0, - 9.7)]. In females, radiographic knee OA was associated with total maximum power [- 2.0 (- 3.9, - 0.1)] and Esslinger Fitness Index [- 8.2 (- 15.9, - 0.4)]. No significant associations were observed for maximum total force. We observed significant negative associations between maximum relative power and Esslinger Fitness Index and clinical knee OA in males and radiographic knee OA in females. We have used novel methodology to demonstrate relationships between muscle function and OA in older adults.

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Conference paper

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MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK.