Women with long ring fingers may be at greater risk of developing arthritis in their knees, researchers say.
Typically, women's index and ring fingers are a similar length. Men tend to have longer ring fingers. But scientists have found that women with uncommonly long ring fingers had almost double the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee when compared to those with fingers of similar length.
Lead researcher Professor Michael Doherty said it was a new risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis.
"Specifically, women with the male pattern of length ratio - that is, ring finger relatively longer than the index finger - are more likely to develop knee osteoathritis. The underlying mechanism of the risk is unclear and merits further exploration."
For the research, the team from Nottingham University analysed the hands of 2,000 arthritis patients and 1,000 without arthritis in their sixties. Researchers, whose findings are published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, took X-rays of both hands of the patients and assessed the length of fingers using three methods.
These included a direct visual comparison of the two finger ends, the measured ratio from base to the tip of the upper finger joints and the measured ratio of the bone lengths.
Even after risk factors such as joint injury and a lack of exercise were taken into account, the higher risk of arthritis remained for women with long ring fingers.
Source - Daily Mail