(Reuters Health) – Obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee, a painful joint disease, may find more relief from symptoms when they lose more weight than when they lose fewer pounds, a new study suggests.
Researchers examined data from 240 obese adults with knee osteoarthritis pain who were participating in an 18-month experiment to see how diet alone or combined with exercise could affect their health.
Participants who lost 10 percent or more of their weight at the end of the study experienced a 50 percent pain reduction and also reported significant improvements in mobility and daily function.
But more weight loss was even better. People who lost at least 20 percent of their weight experienced 25 percent less pain and better daily function than patients who did not lose more than 10 percent of their weight, the study found.
"Our previous work has shown that when combined with mild to moderate exercise, a 5 percent weight loss for 18 months reduces pain by 25 percent and improves function and mobility compared to a group of control". Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"Twice that 10 percent weight loss essentially has twice the effect," Messier said by email. "Our new study indicates that for people who achieve a 10 percent weight loss and wish to continue to lose more weight safely, they will see additional benefits in improving the quality of life related to health and reducing pain and the improved function. "
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease in the USA. UU And it affects more than half of older adults. In comparison with people with normal weight, obese people are much more likely to develop the condition and experience pain related to this joint damage.
The present study also badyzed the results of the six-minute walk tests and found more weight loss badociated with longer distances in the test. The patients improved a little the distance traveled when they lost only 5 percent of their weight, but the results were much more dramatic with a weight loss of 10 percent or 20 percent.
One limitation of the study is that it does not show the long-term effects of weight loss on pain or mobility of the knee joint, nor does it show whether people can maintain weight loss over time or if they gain weight again It was also not a controlled experiment designed to demonstrate how the magnitude of weight loss could directly influence pain reduction or improvements in mobility.
"Carrying extra weight exerts a lot of pressure on the weight-bearing joints, especially in the knees, because overweight and obese people simply have more body mbad for gravity to pull toward the floor," said Burel Goodin, researcher from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not involved in the study.
"The result of weight loss is less pressure on the knees, which often means less pain in the knee joint and an easier time to move," Goodin said by email. "It is likely that diet and exercise are the most useful for losing weight, but it is the loss of weight that preserves the knee joints."
In addition to reducing the biomechanical tension of the knee joint, weight loss can also help curb the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee by decreasing inflammation, said Dr. C. Kent Kwoh, director of the Center of Arthritis at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
"The simple message is that some weight loss is good, even just 10 percent, and more weight loss is even better for all these important parameters of symptoms, function, joint load and systemic inflammation," Kwoh, that he was not involved in the study, he said by email.
While it is possible to lose weight without physical activity, adding exercise to a weight loss program can help people achieve more lasting results in terms of reducing the pain of knee osteoarthritis, said Anita Wluka, a researcher at Monash University in Australia that is not involved in the study.
"We know that any weight loss is likely to improve long-term symptoms," Wluka said by email. "Weight loss with exercise is important to maintain weight loss."
SOURCE: bit.ly/2ymt6UI Arthritis Care and Research, online June 18, 2018.