ObjectiveTo investigate the impact of metabolic syndrome and its components on osteoarthritis of the hip joints compared to a healthy cohort in the KORA MRI-study.MethodsRandomly selected men and women from the general population were classified as having metabolic syndrome, defined as presence of central obesity plus two of the following four components: elevated blood pressure (BP), elevated fasting glucose, elevated triglycerides (TG) and low HDL-cholesterol (HDL-c), or as controls without metabolic syndrome. Therefore, each subject underwent detailed assessment of waist circumference as well as fasting glucose, systolic and diastolic BP, TG, and HDL-c concentrations as well as a full-body MR scan. MR measurements were performed on a 3 Tesla scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) including a dual-echo Dixon and a T2 SS-FSE sequence for anatomical structures. In order to quantify osteoarthritis of the hip, assessment was performed by two independent, experienced radiologists for joint gap narrowing, osteophytic lipping and subchondral changes (e.g. sclerosis, pseudocysts). Associations between metabolic syndrome components and hip degeneration were estimated by logistic regression models providing odds ratios.ResultsAmong 354 included participants (mean age: 56.1 +/- 9.2 years; 55.4% male), 119 (34%) had metabolic syndrome, while 235 (66%) were part of the control group. Except for elevated blood glucose (p = 0.02), none of the metabolic syndromes' component was independently associated with osteoarthritis. Multivariable adjusted ORs for osteoarthritis of the right hip were 1.00 (95% CI 0.98;1.03), 1.00 (95% CI 0.99;1.00), 1.01 (95% CI 0.99;1.03), 1.00 (95% CI 0.97;1.04) and 1.01 (95% CI 0.96;1.06), and for the left hip 1.00 (95% CI 0.98;1.03), 1.00 (95% CI 1.00;1.01), 1.01 (95% CI 0.99;1.03), 0.99 (95% CI 0.96;1.02) and 1.04 (95% CI 0.99;1.09) for waist circumference, triglyceride, HDL-c and systolic and diastolic BP, respectively. Blood glucose was a borderline non-dependent factor for osteoarthritis of the right hip (OR: 1.02 (95% CI 1.0;1.04); p = 0.05). Furthermore, the compound metabolic syndrome was not significantly associated (OR left hip: 1.53 (95% CI 0.8;2.92), p = 0.20; OR right hip: 1.33 (95% CI 0.72;2.45), p = 0.37) with osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Age as well as gender (left hip) were the only parameters in univariate and multivariate analysis to be significantly associated with osteoarthritis of the hip joint.ConclusionThe compound metabolic syndrome showed no association with osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Age was the only parameter to be dependently and independently associated to osteoarthritis of both hip joints, while elevated blood glucose was independently associated with degeneration of the right hip joint.