In a large-scale study published in Menopause, researchers found that menopausal women receiving hormone therapy had a significantly lower prevalence of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) than menopausal women who do not receive hormone therapy.1
Researchers analyzed data from 4766 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2009-2012). Demographic and lifestyle variables between hormone and nonhormone therapy groups were compared, and data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression models.
Hormone therapy was defined as taking regular hormone medication for a year or longer, and knee OA was defined using symptoms and radiographic findings.
The osteoarthritis odds ratio for the hormone therapy groups was 0.70 (95% CI, 0.50-0.99) compared with the nonhormone therapy group.
Study investigators noted that additional research adjusting for variables such as body mass index and age are still warranted.
The North American Menopause Society executive director Dr JoAnn Pinkerton stated in a press release that “past and current users of hormone therapy had a lower prevalence of knee joint OA, suggesting that hormone therapy may be protective against knee OA. This study suggests that estrogen taken at menopause may inhibit cartilage damage and reduce knee deterioration seen on x-rays.”2
- Jung JH, Bang CH, Song GG, Kim C, Kim JH, Choi SJ. Knee osteoarthritis and menopausal hormone therapy in postmenopausal women: a nationwide cross-sectional study [published online December 21, 2018]. Menopause. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001280
- Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis [press release]. Cleveland, OH: The North American Menopause Society. January 7, 2019. Accessed January 14, 2019.