A study from Korea involving 4,766 postmenopausal women showed that hormone replacement could significantly prevent osteoarthritis in postmenopausal women.
The researchers of this study enrolled 4,766 postmenopausal women into the study. They had been on more than 1 year of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with estrogen. The physicians examined the women after 4 years of observation. They also had X-rays of their knees compared to a control group without HRT. The treatment group had 30% less osteoarthritis than the controls without hormone treatment.
“Past and current users of hormone therapy had a lower prevalence of knee joint osteoarthritis, suggesting that hormone therapy may be protective against knee osteoarthritis,” said Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, The North American Menopause Society executive director. “This study suggests that estrogen taken at menopause may inhibit cartilage damage and reduce knee deterioration seen on x-rays.”
Other evidence that estrogen is protective of knee cartilage
Here is a study from 2005 that observed a cartilage preserving effect of estrogen.
The authors felt that MRI studies would be appropriate in future to confirm the findings.
This publication clearly shows that osteoarthritis is associated with estrogen deficiency. Another study that went on for 3 years showed that bioidentical hormone replacement was well-tolerated and made postmenopausal women feel better. This study paid attention to the importance of balancing estrogen with progesterone.
In a study involving human temporomandibular joint specimens the authors showed that both estrogen and progesterone receptors were present in surgical samples from women and men. This would indicate that it likely is better to treat osteoarthritis with both estrogens and progesterone. This will stimulate both hormone receptors.
A study from Korea has shown that there is a 30% improvement of osteoarthritis of the knees in postmenopausal women. They had taken nature identical estrogen therapy for 4 years. There is a danger that estrogen without the opposing progesterone would cause breast cancer and uterine cancer. In view of the fact that human cartilage contains both estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, it also makes more sense to treat menopausal women with balanced bioidentical hormone replacement. In Europe physicians have 50 years of experience and in the US almost 30 years of experience with bioidentical hormone therapy. It is safe, prolongs life, and, as this study demonstrates, it also treats knee osteoarthritis effectively.