The Role of Obesity in Osteoarthritis

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In information released in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, it was reported that people who are overweight are much more prone to develop arthritis. Individuals who are considered obese are even more apt to contract osteoarthritis in both knees.

According to researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany, osteoarthritis may be caused by the strain of carrying excess weight. In this study, a group was composed of people under 75 who had undergone either knee or hip replacement because of osteoarthritis. Of this group, 46% of the patients were overweight while 31% were obese. Twice as many patients with arthritis were obese as were those with arthritis of the hip.

Clinically obese people were 8 times more likely to have arthritis in both knees as compared to people of normal weight. Overweight individuals were nearly six times as likely to acquire arthritis in both knees.

The conductors of this research concluded that a “metabolic” relationship between obesity and osteoarthritis has not been determined. This conclusion was based on the fact that obesity was only linked with arthritis of the knee. Researchers remarked that walking places significantly more strain on the knees than it does on the hip.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2000;53:307-313.

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