Obesity and knee osteoarthritis shorten healthy years of life

Feb 15, 2011

An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis (OA), making it one of the most common causes of disability in the US. Due to obesity and symptomatic knee OA, Americans over the age of 50 will together lose the equivalent of 86 million healthy years of life, concluded researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), who investigated the potential gains in quality and quantity of life that could be achieved averting losses due to obesity and knee OA. These findings are published in the February 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Reducing obesity to levels observed in 2000 would prevent 172,792 cases of , 710,942 cases of diabetes, and 269,934 total knee replacements," said Elena Losina, PhD lead author of the study and co-director of Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research in the Dept of at BWH. "All told, it would save roughly 19.5 million years of life among US adults aged 50-84."

Experts have long known that is on the rise among Americans, due in part to the growing obesity epidemic and longer life expectancy. Obesity and knee OA are among the most frequent chronic conditions in older Americans. However, how that translates into years of healthy life lost has not been accurately estimated. Dr. Losina and colleagues used a mathematical simulation model to assemble national data on the occurrence of knee OA, obesity and other important conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and . Their analysis examines the contribution of both obesity and knee OA to losses in quantity and quality of life. It also evaluates how those losses are distributed among racial and ethnic subpopulations in the United States.

"There are 86 million healthy years of life at stake, a disproportionate number of them being lost by Black and Hispanic women," said Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, Director of the Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at the BWH and a senior author of the study. "These staggering numbers may help patients and physicians to better grasp the scale of the problem and the potential benefits of behavior change."

Explore further: Gambia bans flights from Ebola-hit nations

Provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exercise no danger for joints

Jan 27, 2009

There is no good evidence supporting a harmful effect of exercise on joints in the setting of normal joints and regular exercise, according to a review of studies published in this month's issue of the Journal of Anatomy.

Recommended for you

Thyroid disease risk varies among blacks, Asians, and whites

12 hours ago

An analysis that included active military personnel finds that the rate of the thyroid disorder Graves disease is more common among blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders compared with whites, according to a study in the April ...

The key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood

14 hours ago

Using just a single drop of blood, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma.

Younger adults hit hardest this flu season

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The H1N1 flu was the predominant influenza strain in the United States this year, but it packed a lot less punch than in 2009 when it caused a worldwide pandemic, health officials report.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.