University Of Tasmania

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The associations between parity, other reproductive factors and cartilage in women aged 50-80 years

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 09:10 authored by Wei, S, Alison VennAlison Venn, Chang-Hai DingChang-Hai Ding, Martel-Pelletier, J, Pelletier, J-P, Abram, F, Cicuttini, F, Graeme JonesGraeme Jones
Objective: Sex hormones and reproductive factors may be important for osteoarthritis (OA). The aim of this study was to describe the associations of parity, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and oral contraceptives (OCs) with cartilage volume, cartilage defects and radiographic OA in a population-based sample of older women. Design: Cross-sectional study of 489 women aged 50-80 years. Parity, use of HRT and OC was assessed by questionnaire; knee cartilage volume and defects by magnetic resonance imaging and knee joint space narrowing (JSN) and osteophytes by X-ray. Results: Parity was associated with a deficit in total knee cartilage volume [adjusted B = -0.69 ml, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.34, -0.04]. Increasing parity was associated with decreasing cartilage volume in both the tibial compartment and total knee (both P trend <0.05). Parity was also associated with greater cartilage defects in the patella compartment [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.87, 95% CI = 1.39, 5.93] but not other sites. There was a consistent but non-significant increase in knee JSN (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 0.75, 10.31) and osteophytes (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 0.59, 4.82) for parous women. Use of HRT and/or OC was not associated with cartilage volume, cartilage defects or radiographic change. Conclusions: Parity (but not use of HRT or OC) is independently associated with lower cartilage volume primarily in the tibial compartment and higher cartilage defects in the patella compartment in this population-based sample of older women.


Publication title

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage: Journal of The Osteoarthritis Research Society International










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


W B Saunders Co Ltd

Place of publication

32 Jamestown Rd, London, England, Nw1 7By

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Osteoarthritis Research Society International

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Women's and maternal health