Knee Osteoarthritis Worse in Obese
In people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), those who are obese are more likely to develop advanced, end-stage disease than those who are of healthy weight, according to research funded in part by the Arthritis Foundation.
Using a computer model of knee OA progression based on published national data, scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill projected the occurrence and progression of knee osteoarthritis among several cohorts of individuals. The groups were stratified by the presence at age 60 of obesity, knee pain and knee osteoarthritis visible by X-ray.
The research team, led by first author Holly Holt and principal investigator, Elena Losina, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that 70 percent of obese adults with mild knee OA at age 60 will develop advanced, end-stage disease by age 80. In contrast, just 43 percent of non-obese adults with mild knee OA will have end-stage disease after 20 years.
Arthritis Foundation grant recipient and senior study investigator Losina concludes, “These data can be used to project utilization of total knee replacement surgery and other healthcare expenditures over the next two decades. They also provide a compelling rationale for the development of obesity interventions.”
Holt HL, et al. Forecasting the burden of advanced knee osteoarthritis over a 20 year period in a cohort of older US adults: impact of obesity. Abstract presented at American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting. San Francisco, October 25-29, 2008.