Background Observational studies showed inverse associations between milk consumption and knee osteoarthritis (knee OA).1, 2 There is lack of information on the role of specific other dairy product categories.
Objectives To explore the association between dairy consumption and presence of clinical knee OA in individuals aged 40–75 year participating in the Maastricht Study.
Methods Presence of clinical knee OA was defined according to a slightly modified version of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) clinical classification criteria.3 Data on dairy consumption was appraised by a 253-item Food Frequency Questionnaire covering 47 dairy products with categorization on fat content, fermentation or dairy type. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate odd ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), while correcting for relevant factors.
Results Of the 3010 participants included in this study, 427 individuals (14%) were classified as having clinical knee OA. Significant inverse associations were observed between presence of clinical knee OA and intake of full-fat dairy and Dutch, primarily semi-hard, cheese, with OR for the highest compared to the lowest tertile of intake of 0.68 (95%CI 0.50–0.92) for full-fat dairy, and 0.75 (95%CI 0.56–0.99) for Dutch cheese. No significant associations were found for other dairy product categories.
Conclusions In this Dutch population, higher intake of full-fat dairy and Dutch cheese, but not milk, was cross-sectionally associated with lower presence of clinical knee OA. Prospective studies need to assess the relationship between dairy consumption, and in particular semi-hard cheeses, with incident knee OA.
References  Kacar C, et al. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2004;22(4):473–6.
 Lu B, et al. Arthritis Care Res. 2014;66(6):802–9.
 Altman R, et al. Arthritis Rheum. 1986;29(8):1039–49.
Acknowledgements The authors thank all the voluntary participants from the Maastricht Study as well as the funding bodies.
Disclosure of Interest K. Denissen: None declared, A. Boonen: None declared, J. Nielen: None declared, A. Feitsma Employee of: FrieslandCampina, a dairy company, E. van den Heuvel Employee of: FrieslandCampina, a dairy company, P. Emans: None declared, S. Sep: None declared, C. Stehouwer: None declared, M. van Dongen: None declared, P. Dagnelie: None declared, S. Eussen: None declared
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