Scientists believe that Arthritic fingers may be a sign of accelerated aging. A study was conducted and found that people with arthritis in their fingers were effectively 11 years ‘older’ than their birthdays suggested.
For the study, researchers took X-rays of the hands of around 1100 volunteers aged 30 to 79. They also took blood samples to check their DNA. They found that a genetic marker of accelerated ageing was significantly more pronounced in the 160 volunteers with osteoarthritis in their finger joints.
The researchers, led by Professor Tim Spector from St. Thomas’s Hospital, London examined the lengths of DNA called telomeres. Shortening telomeres are thought to be linked to diseases of old age such as cancer.
People with different telomere lengths may have the same birthday, but different biological ages. The study actually found a link between telomere shortening and arthritis. People who suffer from arthritis certainly did have a degree of telomere shortening equivalent to 11 years of ‘normal’ ageing.