Objective: The relationship between recreational physical activity and the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip in women is uncertain. We examined the cross sectional association of radiographic OA of the hip and past recreational and sports related physical activity in elderly women who are participants in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.
Methods: An anteroposterior pelvic radiograph of 5818 subjects was assessed for hip OA using reliable measurements of individual radiographic features. Hips were graded on a summary scale of 0 (no findings) to 4 (severe OA) based on the number and type of radiographic features present. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of self-reported recreational physical activity (times/week) as a teenager, at age 30, and at age 50 with hip OA. All analyses were adjusted for age and body mass index at age 25 years.
Results: The risk of moderate to severe radiographic hip OA in elderly women was modestly increased in elderly women who were in the highest quartile for all physical activities performed as a teenager (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.1, 2.4), at age 50 (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 1.9) and weight bearing activities at age 30 (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 1.9) compared to women in the lowest quartile of activity. The risk of symptomatic hip OA (grade > or =2 hip OA + hip pain) was modestly increased in women who were in the highest quartile for all physical activities as a teenager (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2, 3.4), at age 50 (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0, 2.4), and weight bearing activities at age 30 (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0, 2.4) compared to women in the lowest quartile of activity.
Conclusion: Recreational physical activities performed by women before menopause may increase the risk of radiographic and symptomatic hip OA.