Bone geometry of the hip is associated with obesity and early structural damage--a 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging study of community-based adults

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Introduction: The mechanism by which obesity increases the risk of hip osteoarthritis is unclear. One possibility may be by mediating abnormalities in bony geometry, which may in turn be associated with early structural abnormalities, such as cartilage defects and bone marrow lesions. Methods: One hundred and forty one older adults with no diagnosed hip osteoarthritis had weight and body mass index measured between 1990 and 1994 and again in 2009 to 2010. Acetabular depth and lateral centre edge angle, both measures of acetabular over-coverage, as well as femoral head cartilage volume, cartilage defects and bone marrow lesions were assessed with 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging performed in 2009 to 2010. Results: Current body mass index, weight and weight gain were associated with increased acetabular depth and lateral centre edge angle (all P = 0.01). For every 1 mm increase in acetabular depth, femoral head cartilage volume reduced by 59 mm3 (95 confidence interval (CI) 20 mm3 to 98 mm3, P <0.01). Greater acetabular depth was associated with an increased risk of cartilage defects (odds ratio (OR) 1.22, 95 CI 1.03 to 1.44, P = 0.02) and bone marrow lesions (OR 1.29, 95 CI 1.01 to 1.64, P = 0.04) in the central region of the femoral head. Lateral centre edge angle was not associated with hip structure. Conclusions: Obesity is associated with acetabular over-coverage. Increased acetabular depth, but not the lateral centre edge angle, is associated with reduced femoral head cartilage volume and an increased risk of cartilage defects and bone marrow lesions. Minimising any deepening of the acetabulum (for example, through weight management) might help to reduce the incidence of hip osteoarthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Issue number1 (Art. No: 112)
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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