Soft drink intake associated with progression of radiographic knee osteoarthritis

   Soft drink consumption has been associated with weight gain and obesity, which is a significant risk factor of osteoarthritis (OA), but its role in the progression of OA is unclear.

    Bing Lu, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, conducted the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) in which 2149 participants (3066 knees) with radiographic knee OA and having dietary data at baseline were followed up to 12, 24, 36, and 48 months. The investigators saw a significant dose-response relationship between soft drink intake and adjusted mean changes of joint space width (JSW) in men (P trend <0.001) after controlling for BMI and potential confounding factors. With increasing levels of soft drink intake, the mean changes in JSW were 0.29mm, 0.39mm, 0.36mm, and 0.59mm, respectively. Further stratification by BMI tertiles revealed a stronger dose-response relationship (changes in JSW were 0.21mm, 0.38mm, 0.40mm, and 0.75mm, respectively) in the lowest BMI tertile (BMI <27.5). In men with BMI >/=27.5, only the highest soft drink level (>/=5 times/week) was associated with increased JSW compared to no use. By contrast in women, a significant association and dose-response relationship was only observed with the lowest BMI tertile (BMI<27.3 kg/m2, P trend <0.001).