Body composition and knee cartilage properties in healthy, community-based adults

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Wang YW, A. E.; English, D. R.; Teichtahl, A. J.; Giles, G. G.; O'Sullivan, R.; Cicuttini, F. M. (2007) Body composition and knee cartilage properties in healthy, community-based adults. Ann Rheum Dis 66:1244-1248


BACKGROUND: Although obesity is widely accepted as a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, whether weight per se or the specific components of body composition are the major determinants of properties of articular knee cartilage is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between anthropometric and body composition measures and knee cartilage properties in healthy adults. METHODS: 297 healthy adults with no clinical knee osteoarthritis were recruited from an existing community-based cohort. Anthropometric measures and body composition, including fat-free mass and fat mass assessed using bioelectrical impedance analysis, were measured at baseline (1990-4) and current follow-up (2003-4). Tibial cartilage volume and tibiofemoral cartilage defects were assessed using MRI at follow-up. RESULTS: After adjustment for potential confounders, baseline and current fat-free mass, independent of fat mass, were positively associated with tibial cartilage volume (all p<0.001). increased="" fat-free="" mass="" over="" the="" time="" period="" was="" positively="" associated="" with="" tibial="" cartilage="" volume=""><0.001). current="" fat="" mass="" was="" negatively="" associated="" with="" tibial="" cartilage="" volume="" (p="0.004)." baseline="" and="" current="" fat="" mass="" were="" weakly="" associated="" with="" increased="" tibiofemoral="" cartilage="" defects="" (p="0.06" and="" p="0.07," respectively),="" independent="" of="" fat-free="" mass.="" conclusion:="" the="" findings="" suggest="" a="" beneficial="" effect="" of="" fat-free="" mass,="" but="" a="" deleterious="" effect="" of="" fat="" mass,="" on="" knee="" cartilage="" properties="" in="" healthy="" adults.="" this="" suggests="" that="" weight-loss="" programmes="" aimed="" at="" reducing="" fat="" mass="" but="" maintaining="" muscle="" mass="" may="" be="" important="" in="" preventing="" the="" onset="" and/or="" progression="" of="" knee="">

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