Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.

Change in Weight over 10 Years Is Associated with Bone Marrow Lesions in a Population-Based Cohort Study of Adult Women.

Brennan1,  Sharon, Cicuttini1,  Flavia, Pasco1,  Julie, Henry2,  Margaret, Wang1,  Yuanyuan, Kotowicz2,  Mark, Nicholson2,  Geoffrey

Monash University
University of Melbourne


Although obesity is a modifiable risk factor for knee osteoarthritis (OA), the effect of change in weight on knee structure in young and healthy adults has not been examined. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI), and change in BMI over the preceding 10-year period, and knee structure [cartilage defects, cartilage volume and bone marrow lesions (BMLs)] in a population-based sample of young to middle-aged females.


One hundred and forty two healthy, asymptomatic females (range 30–49 years) in the Barwon region of Victoria, Australia, underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during 2006-08. BMI measured 10 years prior (1994-97), current BMI and change in BMI (accounting for baseline BMI) over this period, was assessed for an association with cartilage defects and volume, and BMLs.

Summary of the Results:

After adjusting for age and tibial plateau area, there was a trend for a 1 unit increase in current BMI to be associated with cartilage defects (OR 1.06 [95%CI 1.00, 1.13] p=0.05), and for a 1 unit increase in BMI over 10 years to be associated with reduced cartilage volume (–17.8ml [95%CI –39.4, 3.9] p=0.1). BMLs were associated with baseline BMI (OR 1.14 [95%CI 1.03, 1.26] p=0.009), current BMI (OR 1.13 [95%CI 1.04, 1.23] p=0.005), and per 1 unit increase in BMI (OR 1.14 [95%CI 1.03, 1.26] p=0.01). Results remained similar after excluding those with osteophytes.


This study provides longitudinal evidence for the importance of avoiding weight gain in women in during early to middle adult-hood as this is associated with adverse structural changes at the knee. Avoiding weight gain even in early adulthood may play an important role in the prevention of knee OA.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Brennan, Sharon, Cicuttini, Flavia, Pasco, Julie, Henry, Margaret, Wang, Yuanyuan, Kotowicz, Mark, et al; Change in Weight over 10 Years Is Associated with Bone Marrow Lesions in a Population-Based Cohort Study of Adult Women. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :183
DOI: 10.1002/art.27952

Abstract Supplement

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