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Hormone therapy use posited to reduce cartilage turnover.

CHICAGO -- Current hormone therapy use in postmenopausal women reduces cartilage turnover, according to evidence from levels of a biomarker in the blood-stream, Joanne M. Jordan, M.D., reported at the 2004 World Congress on Osteoarthritis.

The study included an ethnically diverse sample of 168 postmenopausal women from the Johnston County (N.C.) Arthritis Project; 49% were African American, 23% were current hormone therapy (HT) users, and 63% had knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Rates of type II collagen cleavage, as measured by levels of the cartilage degradation assay, and collagen II synthesis, as measured by type II procollagen (CPII) synthesis, were lower in current HT users than in nonusers (P = .032 and P < .001, respectively).

Taken together, these results demonstrate reduced collagen II turnover in HT users, both with and without osteoarthritis, Dr. Jordan reported in a poster presentation at the meeting, sponsored by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.

Dr. Jordan and colleagues at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill previously reported that current HT use is associated with lower levels of serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, another marker of cartilage degradation.

The current study, led by doctoral student Anca D. Dragomir, included women who themselves reported using hormone pills, shots, or implants. Knee osteoarthritis was defined as those patients with a knee Kellgren-Lawrence grade of 2 or more.

In a separate analysis, after controlling for ethnicity, age, body mass index, and knee OA status, only the reduction in mean CPII associated with current HT use remained significantly associated with collagen II synthesis.

However, there was evidence of an association between current HT use and knee OA status for another biomarker, chondroitin sulphate epitope 846 (CSE 846), thought to be a marker of newly synthesized cartilage proteoglycan. HT users without OA had higher levels of CSE 846, compared with HT users with OA.

This suggests that HT use could increase proteoglycan aggrecan production in postmenopausal women with no radiographic evidence of knee or hip OA.
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Title Annotation:Rheumatology
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 15, 2005
Words:331
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