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Enrollment begins for osteoarthritis initiative

Recruitment has begun for the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), a public-private partnership between the National Institutes of Health and industry that funds a multisite contract to create a resource to hasten discovery of biological markers for osteoarthritis (OA).

Men and women age 45 and older at risk for developing OA and those with early disease are eligible to participate. After an initial screening, four centers around the United States plan to each enroll and follow 1,250 adults for five years (total enrollment of 5,000). Biological specimens (blood, urine, DNA), images (X-rays and magnetic resonance scans) and clinical data will be collected annually.

Biological markers -- physical signs or biological substances that indicate changes in bone or cartilage -- are critical in diagnosing and monitoring OA and developing new treatments. Ultimately, results from the OAI may enable doctors to use biological markers to help identify people at risk for OA and people with OA at risk for disease progression. The markers could also help doctors assess the effectiveness of treatments.

The four clinical centers, selected in the summer of 2002, include the University of Maryland School of Medicine/Johns Hopkins University, the Ohio State University Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh and the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island/Brown University. A data coordinating center at the University of California, San Francisco oversees the study conduct and will manage the resulting data. The Ohio State University and University of Pittsburgh centers enrolled their first participants the week of February 23, and centers in Maryland and Rhode Island will begin enrollment in late March and early April.

The clinical centers may be contacted at:

Ms. Raushanah Kareem
University of Maryland
10 South Pine Street, Room 8-34, MSTF
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-706-5791 or 866-565-KNEE (toll
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Contact: Liz Freedman
freedmae@mail.nih.gov
301-496-8190
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
17-Mar-2004


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