Excess Weight is a Significant Arthritis Risk Factor
A recent study finds excess weight is responsible for almost 25 percent of arthritis cases in the United States.
Are you suffering from joint pain and considering a total hip replacement or total knee replacement? According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 23 percent of all Americans have arthritis, and one in four adults with arthritis experience acute joint pain. New research reveals body weight as a significant arthritis risk factor.
Healthy Body Weight Lowers Risk for Arthritis
Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) published a new study that found excess weight causes nearly one-quarter of all arthritis cases in the United States, affecting 2.7 million people. Weight loss between early adulthood and middle age lowered the risk for arthritis. The study also showed that people who were overweight in early life and then lost weight were not at elevated risk for arthritis.
The study examined data on adults between the ages of 40 and 69, taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Researchers categorized adults based on variations in their body mass indices between early adulthood to mid-life, and they examined the link between BMI and the risk of developing osteoarthritis within the next decade.
Overweight and obese adults, as well as adults who initially had a normal BMI and became overweight or obese, were all more likely to develop arthritis compared to adults whose BMI remained in the normal weight zone.
Kaitlyn Berry was the lead author of the study while she was a research fellow at BUSPH. Berry said weight loss was extremely effective in reducing individual arthritis risk, but preventing weight gain was a more beneficial goal on a national level.
“These findings highlight the need for lifelong public health measures to prevent obesity at younger ages as an important step to curb later life musculoskeletal and joint health problems such as osteoarthritis. This is particularly important as musculoskeletal pain is a leading cause of disability globally,” said Dr. Tuhina Neogi, study co-author and professor of epidemiology at BUSPH, professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, and chief of rheumatology at Boston Medical Center (Medical Express).
Call your Orthopedist
If you are suffering from chronic pain and are considering a total joint replacement, make an appointment with your orthopedist. Bodyweight is a significant arthritis risk factor, and your doctor can discuss various treatment options with you. Total hip replacement and total knee replacement may be the right course of treatment for you, but weight loss could be beneficial for your joints and your overall health.