Effect of glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate on the osteoarthritis progression: a meta-analysis.

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, 126-1 ga, Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-705, Korea.
Rheumatology International (Impact Factor: 1.63). 06/2009; 30(3):357-63. DOI: 10.1007/s00296-009-0969-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to assess the structural efficacies of daily glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The authors surveyed randomized controlled studies that examined the effects of long-term daily glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate on joint space narrowing (JSN) in knee OA patients using the Medline and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and by performing manual searches. Meta-analysis was performed using a fixed effect model because no between-study heterogeneity was evident. Six studies involving 1,502 cases were included in this meta-analysis, which consisted of two studies on glucosamine sulfate and four studies on chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate did not show a significant effect versus controls on minimum JSN over the first year of treatment (SMD 0.078, 95% CI -0.116 to -0.273, P = 0.429). However, after 3 years of treatment, glucosamine sulfate revealed a small to moderate protective effect on minimum JSN (SMD 0.432, 95% CI 0.235-0.628, P < 0.001). The same was observed for chondroitin sulfate, which had a small but significant protective effect on minimum JSN after 2 years (SMD 0.261, 95% CI 0.131-0.392, P < 0.001). This meta-analysis of available data shows that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may delay radiological progression of OA of the knee after daily administration for over 2 or 3 years.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective The purpose of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin in relieving knee symptoms and slowing disease progression among patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).Methods The 4-year followup data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative data set were analyzed. We used a “new-user” design, for which only participants who were not using glucosamine/chondroitin at baseline were included in the analyses (n = 1,625). Cumulative exposure was calculated as the number of visits when participants reported use of glucosamine/chondroitin. Knee symptoms were measured with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), and structural progression was determined by measuring the joint space width (JSW). To control for the time-varying confounders that might be influenced by previous treatments, we used marginal structural models to estimate the effects on OA of using glucosamine/chondroitin for 3 years, 2 years, and 1 year.ResultsDuring the study period, 18% of the participants initiated treatment with glucosamine/chondroitin. After adjustment for potential confounders with marginal structural models, we found no clinically significant differences between users at all assessments and never-users of glucosamine/chondroitin in WOMAC pain (β = 0.68 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) −0.16 to 1.53]), WOMAC stiffness (β = 0.41 [95% CI 0 to 0.82]), and WOMAC function (β = 1.28 [95% CI −1.23 to 3.79]) or JSW (β = 0.11 [95% CI −0.21 to 0.44]).Conclusion Use of glucosamine/chondroitin did not appear to relieve symptoms or modify disease progression among patients with radiographically confirmed OA. Our findings are consistent with the results of meta-analyses of clinical trials and extend those results to a more general population with knee OA.
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