University Of Tasmania
76461 Journal Article.pdf (355.14 kB)

A longitudinal study of the association between dietary factors, serum lipids, and bone marrow lesions of the knee

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posted on 2023-05-17, 10:56 authored by Dawn AitkenDawn Aitken, De Hoog, J, Giles, G, Chang-Hai DingChang-Hai Ding, Cicuttini, F, Graeme JonesGraeme Jones

Introduction: Bone marrow lesions (BMLs) play an important role in knee osteoarthritis, but their etiology is not well understood. The aim of this longitudinal study was to describe the association between dietary factors, serum lipids, and BMLs.

Methods: In total, 394 older men and women (mean age, 63 years; range, 52 to 79) were measured at baseline and approximately 2.7 years later. BMLs were determined by using T2-weighted fat-saturation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by measuring the maximal area of the lesion. Nutrient intake (total energy, fat, carbohydrate, protein, and sugar) and serum lipids were assessed at baseline.

Results: Cross-sectionally, dietary factors and lipids were not significantly associated with BMLs. Energy, carbohydrate, and sugar intake (but not fat) were positively associated with a change in BML size (â = 15.44 to 19.27 mm2 per 1 SD increase; all P < 0.05). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol tended to be negatively associated with BML change (â = -11.66 mm2 per 1 SD increase; P = 0.088).

Conclusions: Energy, carbohydrate, and sugar intake may be risk factors for BML development and progression. HDL cholesterol seems protective against BMLs. These results suggest that macronutrients and lipids may be important in BML etiology and that dietary modification may alter BML natural history.


National Health & Medical Research Council


Publication title

Arthritis Research & Therapy



Article number









Menzies Institute for Medical Research


BioMed Central Ltd.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified