Uyen-Sa Nguyen, 


Assistant Professor 

Faculty Appointment in:
  • Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation (Medicine)
  • Adjunct Research Assistant Professor

    Boston University School of Medicine

Phone: 508 856 1661

Uyen-Sa Nguyen Research Page

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Research Interests



One of my research interests is in the application of epidemiologic and analytic methods to the studies of musculoskeletal and arthritic disorders, and elucidating possible mechanisms for the risk factors and consequences of these conditions. Topical areas of research interests include osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis in relation to pain, function, falls, and joint replacement, with a particular focus on studying the risk factor paradoxes in arthritis research.  Additionally, I have established international collaborations to conduct research comparing patient characteristics and patient reported outcomes among those who underwent total knee or hip arthroplasty in FORCE-TJR (Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement) and Geneva Arthroplasty Registry.  To see content details of the two registries, please click here


B.S. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
M.P.H. Boston University School of Public Health
D.Sc. Boston University School of Public Health

Postdoctoral Fellow in Musculoskeletal Epidemiology
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research
Harvard Medical School

Recent Publications















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Sparks JA, Chang SC, Nguyen UDT, Barbhaiya M, Tedeschi SK, Lu B, Costenbader KH, Zhang Y, Choi HK, Karlson EW. Smoking behavior changes in the early rheumatoid arthritis period and risk of mortality during 36 years of prospective follow-up. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 May 2. doi: 10.1002/acr.23269. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28464477. NIHMS ID: NIHMS871807.

Leung RYH, Cheung BMY, Nguyen US, Kung AWC, Tan KCB, Cheung CL. Optimal vitamin D status and its relationship with bone and mineral metabolism in Hong Kong Chinese. Bone 2017;97:293-298. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2017.01.030. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Shakoor N, Felson DT, Niu J, Nguyen US, Segal NA, Singh JA, Nevitt MC. The association of vibratory perception and muscle strength with the incidence and worsening of knee instability: the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Arthritis Rheumatol 2017;69(1):94-102. doi: 10.1002/art.39821. PubMed PMID: 27564789; PMCID: PMC5195885.

Nguyen UD, Zhang Y, Louie-Gao Q, Niu J, Felson DT,  LaValley MP, Choi HK. The obesity paradox in recurrent attacks of gout in observational studies: Clarifications and remedy. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Apr;69(4):561-566. doi: 10.1002/acr.22954. PubMed PMID: 27331767; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5179319.

Nguyen UD, Ayers DC, Li W, Harrold LR, Franklin PD. Pre-operative pain and function: profiles of patients selected for total knee arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty 2016 Nov; 31(11):2402-2407.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2016.04.015. PubMed PMID: 27259392, PMCID: PMC5069189.

Nevitt MC, Tolstykh I, Shakoor N, Nguyen US, Segal NA, Lewis C, Felson DT and for the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study Investigators. Symptoms of knee instability as risk factors for recurrent falls. Arthritis Care and Res (Hoboken). 2016 Aug;68(8):1089-97. 2016 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]. Available online PMCID: PMC4958545.

White DK, Neogi T, Nguyen US, Niu J, Zhang Y. Trajectories of functional decline in knee osteoarthritis: The Osteoarthritis Initiative. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 May;55(5):801-8. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev419. Epub 2015 Dec 24. PMID: 26705330.PMCID: PMC5009418.

Segal NA, Nevitt MC, Welborn RD, Nguyen US, Niu J, Lewis CE, Felson DT, Frey-Law L. The association between antagonist hamstring coactivation and episodes of knee joint shifting and buckling. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 9 March 2015. DOI information: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.02.773. [Epub ahead of print]. Available at

Franklin P, Nguyen U, Ayers D, Weissman N; and the FORCE TJR Investigators. Letter in response to the arthritis and rheumatology paper (Riddle, Jiranek et al) and Katz commentary; Appropriateness of THR utilization. Arthritis Rheumatol 2014 Nov4. doi: 10.1002/art.38926. [Epub ahead of print].

Choi HK, Nguyen US, Niu J, Danaei G, Zhang Y. Selection Bias in Rheumatic Disease Research. Nat Rev Rheumatol 2014 Jul;10(7):403-12. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2014.36. [Epub ahead of print].

Nguyen US, Felson DT, Niu J, White DK, Segal NA, Lewis CE, Rasmussen M, Nevitt MC. The impact of knee instability with and without buckling on balance confidence, fear of falling and physical function: the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (2014),

Nguyen US, Niu J, Choi HK, Zhang Y. Commentary: effect of obesity on mortality: comment on article by banack and kaufman. Epidemiology. 2014 Jan; 25(1):2-3.

Nguyen US, Niu J, Choi HK, Zhang Y. Body mass index and mortality: comment on article by Wolfe and Michaud. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 May; 65(5):834-5.

Nguyen US, Dufour AB, Positano RG, Dines JS, Dodson CC, Gagnon DG, Hillstrom HJ, Hannan MT. The occurrence of ipsilateral or contralateral foot disorders and hand dominance: the Framingham Foot Study. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2013 Jan-Feb; 103(1):16-23.

Nguyen US, Kiel DP, Li W, Galica AM, Kang HG, Casey VA, Hannan MT. Correlations of clinical and laboratory measures of balance in older men and women. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Dec; 64(12):1895-902.

Cheung CL, Nguyen US, Au E, Tan KC, Kung AW. Association of handgrip strength with chronic diseases and multimorbidity: A cross-sectional study. Age (Dordr). 2012 Feb 8.

Nguyen US, Zhang Y, Zhu Y, Niu J, Zhang B, Felson DT. Increasing prevalence of knee pain and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: survey and cohort data. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 6; 155(11):725-32.

Kelsey JL, Berry SD, Procter-Gray E, Quach L, Nguyen US, Li W, Kiel DP, Lipsitz LA, Hannan MT. Indoor and outdoor falls in older adults are different: the maintenance of balance, independent living, intellect, and Zest in the Elderly of Boston Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Nov; 58(11):2135-41.

Kelsey JL, Procter-Gray E, Nguyen US, Li W, Kiel DP, Hannan MT. Footwear and Falls in the Home Among Older Individuals in the MOBILIZE Boston Study. Footwear Sci. 2010 Sep; 2(3):123-129.

Nguyen US, Rothman KJ, Demissie S, Jackson DJ, Lang JM, Ecker JL. Epidural analgesia and risks of cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries in nulliparous and multiparous women. Matern Child Health J. 2010 Sep; 14(5):705-12.

Dufour AB, Broe KE, Nguyen US, Gagnon DR, Hillstrom HJ, Walker AH, Kivell E, Hannan MT. Foot pain: is current or past shoewear a factor? Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Oct 15; 61(10):1352-8.

Nguyen US, Hillstrom HJ, Li W, Dufour AB, Kiel DP, Procter-Gray E, Gagnon MM, Hannan MT. Factors associated with hallux valgus in a population-based study of older women and men: the MOBILIZE Boston Study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Jan; 18(1):41-6.

Nguyen US, Rothman KJ, Demissie S, Jackson DJ, Lang JM, Ecker JL. Transfers among women intending a birth center delivery in the San Diego birth center study. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2009 Mar-Apr; 54(2):104-10.

Jackson DJ, Lang JM, Swartz WH, Ganiats TG, Fullerton J, Ecker J, Nguyen U. Outcomes, safety, and resource utilization in a collaborative care birth center program compared with traditional physician-based perinatal care. Am J Public Health. 2003 Jun; 93(6):999-1006.

Flores G, Bauchner H, Feinstein AR, Nguyen US. The impact of ethnicity, family income, and parental education on children's health and use of health services. Am J Public Health. 1999 Jul; 89(7):1066-71.

Swartz W, Jackson D, Lang J, Ecker J, Ganiats T, Dickinson C, Nguyen U. The BirthPlace collaborative practice model: results from the San Diego Birth Center Study. Prim Care Update Ob Gyns. 1998 Jul 1; 5(4):207.

Ellison RC, Moore LL, Proctor MH, Nguyen US, Schaefer EJ, Stare FJ. Effect of response to a low-fat diet among adolescent males on their adult blood cholesterol levels. Prev Med. 1997 Sep-Oct; 26(5 Pt 1):686-93.

Proctor MH, Moore LL, Singer MR, Hood MY, Nguyen US, Ellison RC. Risk profiles for non-communicable diseases in rural and urban schoolchildren in the Republic of Cameroon. Ethn Dis. 1996; 6(3-4):235-43.

Rothman KJ, Moore LL, Singer MR, Nguyen US, Mannino S, Milunsky A. Teratogenicity of high vitamin A intake. N Engl J Med. 1995 Nov 23; 333(21):1369-73.

Moore LL, Nguyen US, Rothman KJ, Cupples LA, Ellison RC. Preschool physical activity level and change in body fatness in young children. The Framingham Children's Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1995 Nov 1; 142(9):982-8.

Gillman MW, Hood MY, Moore LL, Nguyen US, Singer MR, Andon MB. Effect of calcium supplementation on blood pressure in children. J Pediatr. 1995 Aug; 127(2):186-92.

Ellison RC, Singer MR, Moore LL, Nguyen US, Garrahie EJ, Marmor JK. Current caffeine intake of young children: amount and sources. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Jul; 95(7):802-4.

Zamansky GB, Nguyen U, Chou IN. An immunofluorescence study of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the organization of microfilaments, keratin intermediate filaments, and microtubules in human keratinocytes. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1992; 22(4):296-306.

Zamansky GB, Nguyen U, Chou IN. An immunofluorescence study of the calcium-induced coordinated reorganization of microfilaments, keratin intermediate filaments, and microtubules in cultured human epidermal keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol. 1991 Dec; 97(6):985-94.





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"Collider Bias and the Risk Factor Paradoxes in Rheumatic Disease Research"
Principal Investigator: Nguyen, U.
Sponsor: NIH/NIAMS   5K01AR064351-03
Goal: To determine and quantify potential selection bias in 3 areas of rheumatic disease and musculoskeletal research.

"Patient Osteoarthritis Careplan to Inform Optimal Treatment"
Principal Investigator: Franklin, PD. Role: Co-Investigator
Sponsor: PCORI     1507-31714
Goal: This research will finalize and test in a cluster randomized trial individualized patient decision support tools for advanced knee and hip osteoarthritis. Likely outcomes from operative (total joint replacement) and non-operative treatments will be included. In the second phase, peer-to-peer and primary care support will be tested to enhance decision support.


"The True Impact of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis"
Principal Investigator: Nguyen, U. 
Sponsor: Arthritis Foundation New Investigator Award
Goal: To determine the true impact of the risk of cardiovascular events in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

"Knee OA and Risk of Indoor and Outdoor Falls in a Population-Based Cohort of Older Adults: The MOBILIZE Boston Study"
Principal Investigator: Nguyen, U. 
Sponsor: ACR REF Scientist Development Award
Goal: To determine the association between knee OA and risk of falls separately for indoor and outdoor falls, and whether foot pain, physical activity, and mobility performance may partially mediate these associations.

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