Johns Hopkins Health Alert
The Best Way To Prevent Osteoarthritis
Studies have shown that overweight or obese women who lose just 11 pounds decrease their risk of osteoarthritis by about 50 percent.
Over 20 million Americans have osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. One of the most frequent causes of physical disability in adults, osteoarthritis involves the progressive breakdown of cartilage and other joint tissues. By age 40, about 90 percent of people have some degree of osteoarthritis in their weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees—though symptoms of pain and stiffness generally do not appear until later in life.
There is no sure-fire way of avoiding osteoarthritis. But the best way to reduce the risk of developing symptoms of osteoarthritis is to lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
Osteoarthritis occurs most often in your hands and in the joints of your lower back, hips and knees. The latter are all weight-bearing joints, and obesity increases the pressure on them. Obesity is especially hard on knees—osteoarthritis of the knee is about four to five times more prevalent in obese men and women than in people at normal weight.
It doesn’t take much weight loss for benefits to appear. Studies have shown that overweight or obese women who lose just 11 pounds decrease their risk of osteoarthritis by about 50 percent.
Posted in Arthritis on April 17, 2006
Reviewed June 2011
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