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OBJECTIVE: Geographic differences in the prevalence of hip osteoarthritis (OA) have been ascribed to differences in the frequency of acetabular dysplasia among different ethnic groups. However, there are few data on the shape of the acetabulum in various populations around the world. We examined this issue in samples of pelvic radiographs from Britain and Japan. METHODS: Measurements were made on the pelvic radiographs of 1303 men and 195 women, aged 60-75 yr, who attended for i.v. urography in two British centres. These were compared with 99 men and 99 women aged 60-79 yr who were included in a population-based study in a rural community in Japan, and who agreed to undergo standardized pelvic radiography. Acetabular dysplasia was assessed by morphometric measurement of the centre-edge (CE) angle and acetabular depth. RESULTS: The mean CE angle among men was 36 degrees (95% CI 35-37 degrees ) in Britain and 31 degrees (95% CI 29-32 degrees ) in Japan; that in women was 37 degrees (95%, CI 36-38 degrees ) in Britain and 31 degrees (95% CI 29 33 degrees ) in Japan. The mean values of acetabular depth were also significantly (P < 0.001) lower in Japan than in Britain. However, the prevalence of hip OA was lower in Japan (0% in men, 2% in women) than in Britain ( 11% in men, 4.8 / in women). In a random effects model, there were negative relationships between measures of acetabular dysplasia and minimum joint space among individuals. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that there are marked differences in pelvic morphometry between Britain and Japan. The acetabular dimensions of Japanese subjects are considerably shallower than those of their British counterparts of similar age and sex. Nevertheless, hip OA is more frequent in Britain than in Japan. Further studies are required on the risk factors for hip OA in Oriental populations, in order that the aetiology of this disorder can be better understood.


Journal article


Br j rheumatol

Publication Date





1193 - 1197


Acetabulum, Aged, Anthropometry, Female, Hip Dislocation, Congenital, Humans, Japan, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Prevalence, Risk Factors, United Kingdom