Losing Weight with Knee Osteoarthritis: More is Better

A study in Arthritis Care & Research showed that when it comes to weight loss and the reduction of pain related to knee osteoarthritis, more is better.

Researchers previously stated that losing 10% or more weight loss over an 18-month period could reduce pain by 50% and significantly improve function and mobility. Recent findings show that a 20% or more weight loss has the added benefit of continued improvement in physical health-related quality of life. The study also stated that the weight loss could also lead to an additional 25% reduction in pain and improvement in function. 

The results come from the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) randomized controlled trial, from a secondary analysis of diet-only and diet plus exercise groups. Two hundred and forty overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults with pain and knee osteoarthritis were used in the study. The participants were divided into four groups according to the weight loss achieved in an 18-month period: less than 5% (<5% group), between 5 and 9.9% (≥5% group), between 10 and 19.9% (≥ 10% group), and 20% and greater (≥20% group). 


Results of the study showed that the greater the weight loss, the better participants did with pain, function, a 6-minute walk distance, physical and mental health-related quality of life, knee joint compression force, and IL-6 (a marker of inflammation). 

SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research