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Association of age, sex and BMI with the rate of change in tibial cartilage volume: a 10.7-year longitudinal cohort study


Cai, G and Jiang, M and Cicuttini, F and Jones, G, Association of age, sex and BMI with the rate of change in tibial cartilage volume: a 10.7-year longitudinal cohort study, Arthritis Research and Therapy, 21, (1) Article 273. ISSN 1478-6362 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s13075-019-2063-z


Background: To describe the association of age, sex and body mass index with the rate of change of tibial knee cartilage volume over 10.7 years in a community-based sample of older adults.

Methods: Four hundred and eighty-one participants (49% female, mean age 60.8 years [range 51.1-79.7], 49% had knee pain and 58% radiographic osteoarthritis) were included. Tibial cartilage volume of the right knee was assessed on T1-weighted fat-suppressed 1.5 T MRI at baseline and 10.7 years. Data analyses were performed using linear regression models.

Results: The average rate of loss of cartilage volume was 1.2%/year (range 0.2-3.9%) with all participants losing cartilage volume over the study period. There was a significant association between age and loss of tibial cartilage volume in the medial (0.023%/year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.010 to 0.036%, p < 0.001), lateral (0.013%/year, 95% CI 0.003 to 0.023%, p = 0.012) and total tibia (0.018%/year, 95% CI 0.009 to 0.026%, p < 0.001). Higher body mass index at baseline and increases in body mass index over time were associated with a greater tibial cartilage loss at the medial (body mass index at baseline 0.040%/year, 95% CI 0.022 to 0.058%, p < 0.001; increases in body mass index 0.055%/year, 95% CI 0.018 to 0.093%, p = 0.004) but not lateral compartment. No evidence of non-linear relationships was observed. Compared to males, females lost more lateral tibial cartilage with increasing age (0.023%/year, 95% CI 0.003 to 0.043%, p = 0.024 for interaction).

Conclusions: Tibial cartilage volume declines at a faster rate with increasing age and body mass index in both males and females, particularly in the medial compartment. In contrast to the low rate of change in radiographs, our findings suggest that cartilage loss at the tibia is universal in this age group.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:age, cartilage volume, magnetic resonance imaging, osteoarthritis
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cai, G (Dr Guoqi Cai)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
ID Code:137271
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-02-06
Last Modified:2020-03-24
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