CHHM researchers awarded a $2.5M Team Grant to advance knowledge in hip osteoarthritis

CHHM researchers awarded a $2.5M Team Grant to advance knowledge in hip osteoarthritis

Professor John Esdaile, Scientific Director, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada and member of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at VGH leads a CIHR Team called IMPAKT-HIP that will investigate whether certain types of physical activity are related to hip osteoarthritis (OA).

OA is the most common joint disorder and affects approximately 10% of Canadians. It is estimated that by 2031, the prevalence of self-reported OA in Canada is will increase by 47%. Most alarming is current research that shows the incidence of OA in women in British Columbia is increasing at a faster rate than can be explained by the aging demographic shift alone.

The IMPAKT-HIP team will address the question "Do physical activities that demand repetitive hip flexion lead to femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) of the hip?" FAI is a major cause of hip pain and the IMPAKT-HIP team will explore whether FAI is precursor to painful hip osteoarthritis.

To address their research questions, the IMPAKT-HIP Team will use a novel Open (stand up) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system awarded to the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility as part of a successful Canada Foundation for Innovation award. The Open MRI is dedicated to research and is the first of its kind in Canada and one of only two such systems in the world.

IMPAKT-HIP team members include: John Esdaile, Jacek Kopec, David Wilson, Jolanda Cibere, Linda Li, Donald Garbuz, Michal Abrahamowicz, Bruce Forster, Michael Gilbart, Carolyn Emery, Allen Lehman, Heather McKay, Hubert Wong, Alex MacKay

Further information from the CIHR website

Recent research proposes that femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) of the hip may be a major cause of hip pain and a precursor for the majority of unexplained (primary) OA of the hip.

It has been suggested that FAI may be associated with physical activities, such as hockey, soccer and bicycling, all of which are conducted in considerable and repetitive hip flexion, but a direct causal link has never been shown. Confirmation of the specific activities that lead to symptomatic FAI opens the possibility for altered physical activity to reduce hip OA in the population.

The goal of this CIHR team is to advance the knowledge of the role of physical activity in causing symptomatic FAI, and subsequently hip OA, by developing a cohort of individuals with hip pain in British Columbia.

The prevalence of FAI in the population will be calculated. In addition we will estimate the prevalence of FAI in ethnic groups that are known to have lower or higher prevalence of OA (Chinese and Aboriginal groups, respectively).

Other innovative aspects of this research program include the opportunity to: 1) explore the dynamic nature of the actual impingement caused by FAI using Canada’s only research-directed vertical gap open magnetic resonance (MR) imager; and 2) assess the pathogenesis of cartilage damage using molecular biomarkers and newly developed imaging techniques (e.g., dGEMRIC, qMR).

This complex and important question will be addressed by a collaborative team of researchers from 4 disciplinary groups (basic sciences; clinical sciences; population health, epidemiology and biostatistics; health services research and knowledge translation) and stakeholders from the arthritis community.

We envision that this research program will generate the necessary new knowledge leading to major breakthrough in the prevention, detection and treatment of hip OA.