activity levels and frequency and severity of knee damage. Specific knee abnormalities identified included meniscal lesions, cartilage lesions, bone marrow edema and ligament lesions. Abnormalities were associated solely with activity levels and were not age or gender specific.
"The prevalence of the knee abnormalities increased with the level of physical activity," Dr. Stehling said. "In addition, cartilage defects diagnosed in active people were more severe."
The findings also indicated that some activities carry a greater risk of knee damage over time.
"This study and previous studies by our group suggest that high-impact, weight-bearing physical activity, such as running and jumping, may be worse for cartilage health," Dr. Stehling said. "Conversely, low-impact activities, such as swimming and cycling, may protect diseased cartilage and prevent healthy cartilage from developing disease."
Dr. Stehling noted that there is a need for prospective studies to evaluate the influence of low-impact versus high-impact physical activity on disease progression.
Coauthors of the study are Nancy E. Lane, M.D., Michael C. Nevitt, Ph.D., M.P.H., Charles E. McCulloch, Ph.D., and Thomas M. Link, M.D., Ph.D.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2009 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press09 beginning Monday, Nov. 30.
RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the printed abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949
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