Arthritis research & therapy 2017 05 1819(1) 98 doi 10.1186/s13075-017-1314-0
Osteoarthritis has a high prevalence in people with high bone mineral density (BMD). Nevertheless, whether high systemic BMD predates early structural features of knee osteoarthritis is unclear. This study examined the association between systemic BMD and knee cartilage defect progression and cartilage volume loss in middle-aged people without clinical knee disease.
Adults (n = 153) aged 25-60 years had total body, lumbar spine, and total hip BMD assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline (2005-2008), and tibial cartilage volume and tibiofemoral cartilage defects assessed by magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and follow up (2008-2010).
Higher spine BMD was associated with increased risk for progression of medial (OR = 1.45, 95% CI 1.10, 1.91) and lateral (OR = 1.30, 95% CI 1.00, 1.67) tibiofemoral cartilage defects. Total hip BMD was also positively associated with the progression of medial (OR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.10, 2.41) and lateral (OR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.08, 2.18) tibiofemoral cartilage defects. Greater total body, spine, and total hip BMD were associated with increased rate of lateral tibial cartilage volume loss (for every 1 g/10 cm(2) increase in total body BMD: B = 0.44%, 95% CI 0.17%, 0.71%; spine BMD: 0.17%, 95% CI 0.04%, 0.30%; total hip BMD: 0.29%, 95% CI 0.13%, 0.45%), with no significant associations for medial tibial cartilage volume loss.
In middle-aged people without clinical knee disease, higher systemic BMD was associated with increased early knee cartilage damage. Further work is needed to clarify the effect of systemic BMD at different stages of the pathway from health through to disease in knee osteoarthritis, as new therapies targeting bone are developed for the management of knee osteoarthritis.