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Joanne M. Jordan, M.D., MPH. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Raleigh-Durham, NC, US

Joanne M. Jordan, M.D., MPH. Joanne M. Jordan, M.D., MPH.

Joseph P. Archie, Jr. Eminent Professor, Department of Medicine & Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology & Director, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development | UNC-Chapel Hill

Raleigh-Durham, NC, UNITED STATES

The main interests in Dr. Jordan's research are the epidemiology of osteoarthritis.





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The main interests in Dr. Jordan's research are the epidemiology of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the weight-bearing joints is a leading cause of disability and work disability in this country. Several studies suggest that the rural South may be especially hard-hit by arthritis and its resultant disabilities.

Dr. Jordan is the principal investigator of a large, community-based prospective cohort of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip in Johnston County, a rural North Carolina county. The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project is the first of its type to include both African-Americans and Caucasians and is unique in its inclusion of radiographic, serologic, genetic, and physical and functional examinations of its participants. The study is designed to examine multiple potential causes of radiographic osteoarthritis and of pain, disability, and work disability. These include demographic, physical, metabolic and psychosocial factors, as well as diet and aspects of the rural work and home environments.

Industry Expertise (3)



Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (11)



Radiographic Osteoarthritis



Genetics of Osteoarthritis

Ethnic Health Disparities


Heavy Metal Exposures



Accomplishments (4)

Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award (professional)

2011 Awarded by the Rural Sociological Society

Inaugural Award for Excellence in Investigative Mentoring (professional)

2009 Awarded by the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation

Osteoarthritis Research Society International Clinical Research Award (professional)


Inductee (professional)

Conferred by the American Clinical and Climatological Association

Education (5)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: MPH, Epidemiology 1991

Duke University Medical Center: Fellowship, Rheumatology 1986

Duke University Medical Center: Residency, Internal Medicine 1984

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: M.D., Medicine 1981

Cornell University: A.B., Biology 1977

Affiliations (1)

  • American College of Rheumatology : Board of Directors

Media Appearances (5)

Knee osteoarthritis risk unaffected by moderate exercise

Medical News Today  online


Senior author Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, describes the findings as good news: "This study shows that engaging in physical activity at these levels is not going to put you at a greater risk of knee osteoarthritis. Furthermore, we found this held true no matter what a person's race, sex or body weight is. There was absolutely no association between these factors and a person's risk."...

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5 fixes for achy joints

Fox News Health  online


"Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the small joints in your hands and feet first," says Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina. "Then other joints, like the shoulders and elbows, start to become painful."...

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Arthritis pain can turn up in surprising places

USA Today  online


Studies being discussed at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meetings in Washington, D.C., through Wednesday find that when osteoarthritis progresses to multiple joints it can cause havoc by triggering pain everywhere in the body from head to toe. New ways of managing the disease affecting 27 million Americans can prevent the crippling pain from spreading and improve overall health, according to Joanne Jordan, chairman of the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative's Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative. "We need to treat the pain early on before it gets generalized," says Jordan, director of the University of North Carolina's Thurston Arthritis Research Center. "When pain becomes generalized, things that ordinarily wouldn't hurt are hurtful. For instance, you can pat someone on the shoulder and their shoulder, which might not be near the afflicted joint, will hurt. They'll wince or cry out in pain."...

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Biggest Arthritis Myths Busted

ABC News  online


"It's hard to study this relationship, but even though we don't know for sure, it doesn't look like clear evidence that these foods can make symptoms worse," said Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's Thurston Arthritis Research Center in Chapel Hill...

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Alternative Therapies Offer Arthritis Pain Relief

ABC News  online


"Studies have been done on ginger and tumeric and have shown some anti-inflammatory effects, so there is at least some basic science to suggest these might be helpful," said Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill...

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Articles (5)

Greater Mechanical Loading During Walking Is Associated With Less Collagen Turnover in Individuals With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.

The American Journal of Sports Medicine


Individuals who have sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and undergo ACL reconstruction (ACLR) are at higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. It is hypothesized that altered knee loading may influence the underlying joint metabolism and hasten development of posttraumatic knee osteoarthritis.

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Variations in Hip Shape Are Associated with Radiographic Knee Osteoarthritis: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Analyses of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project

The Journal of Rheumatology


Hip shape by statistical shape modeling (SSM) is associated with hip radiographic osteoarthritis (rOA). We examined associations between hip shape and knee rOA given the biomechanical interrelationships between these joints.

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Novel statistical methodology reveals that hip shape is associated with incident radiographic hip osteoarthritis among African American women

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage


Hip shape is a risk factor for the development of hip osteoarthritis (OA), and current methods to assess hip shape from radiographs are limited; therefore this study explored current and novel methods to assess hip shape.

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Racial differences in associations between baseline patterns of radiographic osteoarthritis and multiple definitions of progression of hip osteoarthritis: the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project

Arthritis Research and Therapy


We identified baseline radiographic features that predict hip osteoarthritis (HOA) progression, and explored differences in these associations by race.

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Annual Incidence of Knee Symptoms and Four Knee Osteoarthritis Outcomes in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project

Arthritis Care and Research


The annual onset of knee symptoms, radiographic and symptomatic knee OA and its severity, in Johnston County was high. This may preview the future of knee OA in the US and underscores the urgency of clinical and public health collaborations that reduce risk factors for, and manage the impact of, these outcomes. Inexpensive, convenient, and proven strategies (e.g., physical activity, self-management education courses) complement clinical care and can reduce pain and improve quality of life for people with arthritis.

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