Knee Osteoarthritis Linked to Obesity

Obesity can cause multiple health issues, including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, gout, and more. In a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, researchers discuss obesity and body composition (fat and muscle mass) and how it is linked to knee osteoarthritis (OA).  

In this study, researchers examined the longitudinal association of body composition categories based on fat and muscle mass with incident knee OA risk. Participants used for the study were from The Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study, a longitudinal cohort of individuals with or at risk for knee osteoarthritis. 

There were 4 categories of subjects: 

  • Obese 
  • Sarcopenic obese 
  • Sarcopenic 
  • Non‐sarcopenic non‐obese 

Binomial regression with robust variance estimation was used to examine the relation of baseline body composition categories to the risk of incident radiographic OA; this was measured at 60 months. 

Results showed that in 1,653 subjects without radiographic knee osteoarthritis at baseline, there was an increased risk of OA in obese and sarcopenic obese women, but not men. In addition, sarcopenia was not associated with knee OA risk in either sex. 

The researchers concluded that “we found body composition-based obesity and sarcopenic obesity but not sarcopenia, to be associated with knee OA risk. Weight loss strategies for knee OA should focus on obesity and sarcopenic obesity.” 

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SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatology