Moderate physical activity may prevent cartilage loss in women with knee osteoarthritis: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Alessio Bricca (Corresponding Author), Wolfgang Wirth, Carsten B. Juhl, Jana Kemnitz, David J. Hunter, C. Kent Kwoh, Felix Eckstein, Adam G. Culvenor

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Abstract

Objective
To examine the impact of physical activity (PA) on cartilage thickness loss in knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

Methods
689 participants with radiographic KOA (Kellgren/Lawrence grade ≥2) at baseline, from the Osteoarthritis Initiative completed the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) questionnaires at annual intervals over four years. Magnetic resonance imaging‐based cartilage thickness change in the medial femorotibial compartment (MFTC) over four years was the main outcome. The impact of PASE tertiles (low, moderate, high) on changes in MFTC cartilage thickness was estimated using a mixed effect model adjusted for baseline characteristics. Furthermore, straficiation by sex was performed for secondary analyses.

Results
Structural progression of MFTC cartilage loss of ‐0.20 mm (95% confidence interval: ‐0.22 to ‐0.17mm) was observed in the entire cohort, with no statistically significant difference between PA levels after adjustment for baseline characteristics. A sex‐by‐physical activity interaction was observed in the adjusted analysis (p=0.02). Stratification by sex showed that women with low PA had a statistically greater cartilage loss than women with moderate PA level (adjusted between group difference ‐0.09 mm [‐0.16 to ‐0.02 mm]), whereas no significant differences were observed in men.

Conclusion
While physical activity was not associated with cartilage thickness loss in the whole cohort, this relationship significantly differed between sexes. In women, but not in men, moderate PA may slow down structural disease progression compared to low PA levels. For both men and women, high PA does not appear to be more detrimental than lower PA levels for cartilage thickness loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalArthritis Care & Research
Volume71
Issue number2
Early online date19 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • cartilage
  • load
  • thickness
  • osteoarthritis
  • PROGRESSION DATA
  • T2 MEASUREMENTS
  • RISK
  • FEMOROTIBIAL CARTILAGE
  • ASYMPTOMATIC SUBJECTS
  • ELDERLY PASE
  • THICKNESS CHANGE
  • RELAXATION-TIMES
  • ACTIVITY SCALE
  • ASSOCIATION

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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  • Cite this

    Bricca, A., Wirth, W., Juhl, C. B., Kemnitz, J., Hunter, D. J., Kwoh, C. K., Eckstein, F., & Culvenor, A. G. (2019). Moderate physical activity may prevent cartilage loss in women with knee osteoarthritis: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Arthritis Care & Research, 71(2), 218-226. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.23791