Although it probably doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that your knees are healthier when they don’t have to shoulder excess weight, new research published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research found that weight loss can help prevent symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
For the study, researchers examined the health records of 353 overweight or obese women. The average woman was 56 years old. None of them suffered from knee osteoarthritis at the beginning of the study. The woman were all asked to try and lose 5 percent of their starting body over the course of the study, which ran for 30 months. At the conclusion of the study, researchers looked to see how many women hit their weight loss goal, and how many had developed symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
Arthritis and Obesity Study
After looking at the data, researchers uncovered that 20 percent of women who failed to meet their weight loss goal showed signs of knee osteoarthritis (as confirmed by X-ray), compared to only 15 percent for those who met their weight loss goal. While five percent may not seem like enough, it is statistically significant. Additionally, women who failed to meet their weight loss goal were more likely to suffer from bone spurs than those who met their weight loss goal.
The results noted that the study was observational and doesn’t explicitly result a causal relationship. Regardless, researchers say the findings fall in line with previous studies on the effects of weight loss and arthritic symptoms. Additionally, while the study concluded at the end of 30 weeks, researchers say the believe that individuals need to keep the excess weight off if they want to continue to avoid the detrimental effects of osteoarthritis.
This is another common-sensical approach to keeping your body in pristine shape. Obesity causes numerous health issues, including arthritis, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. We shouldn’t need a study to tell us that losing weight will help prevent symptoms of osteoarthritis, but here it is. Hopefully people heed the warning and take some accountability for their health.