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Diabetics Show Accelerated Knee Joint Degeneration

Skeletal Radiol; ePub 2018 Oct 24; Neumann, et al

Diabetics exhibited a significantly greater increase in cartilage and meniscus lesions when compared to diabetes-free controls over 4 years, a recent study found. Overall, these findings suggest that diabetics exhibit a stronger deterioration of knee structure and are therefore potentially at higher risk for developing knee osteoarthritis (OA). 244 participants with diabetes were selected from the Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort and matched with 244 diabetes-free controls. 3.0-T MRI scans of the right knee were obtained at baseline and 4-year follow-up. Evaluation of structural knee abnormalities was performed using the Whole-Organ Resonance Imaging Scoring system (WORMS). Researchers found:

  • Study groups were similar in age (63.0 vs 63.3 years), body mass index (31.5 vs 31.0 kg/m2), sex (female 52.0 vs 52.9%) and radiographic Kellgren/Lawrence score distribution.
  • Structural degeneration was significantly worse in the knees of diabetics with an increase in the overall WORMS sum score.
  • Moreover, diabetics showed a greater increase in cartilage lesions in the global knee, but also separately in the patella, lateral tibia, and both femoral compartments.
  • Furthermore, diabetics showed also a greater increase in meniscus lesion score, in both the medial and lateral meniscus.


Neumann J, Guimaraes JB, Heilmeier U, et al. Diabetics show accelerated progression of knee cartilage and meniscal lesions: Data from the osteoarthritis initiative. [Published online ahead of print October 24, 2018]. Skeletal Radiol. doi:10.1007/s00256-018-3088-0.