Overweight osteoarthritis patients have more pain: study

So… what’s weight got to do with it? A lot more than you might think… next

Overweight osteoarthritis patients have more pain: study

Krystnell Storr writing for Reuters reported overweight and obese people with arthritis in their knees tend to report more pain than slimmer people with the chronic joint disease, suggests a new study.

Past studies have found that heavier people, especially women, are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and often have more severe osteoarthritis (OA).

This study goes a step further. It suggests that people with a higher body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, may have more pain than normal-weight people with the same amount of arthritis-related damage.

“My main innovation here was that I wanted to link up BMI, OA severity and pain to try to see what causes the pain,” Elizabeth Weiss told Reuters Health.

Weiss, an anthropologist at San Jose State University in California, studies the bones of past populations. She said that no matter where and when populations existed, osteoarthritis seems to be as common among those long gone as it is today.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 14 percent of adults in the U.S over age 25 have some form of osteoarthritis.

Weiss studied modern people because she wanted to know whether knee arthritis would have caused similar amounts of pain among past peoples who were less likely to be overweight or obese, compared to today’s population.

“I figured that if the data showed that BMI was the real culprit of pain in knee OA patients, then past people would not have felt much pain, and for (doctors) it would mean that decreasing BMI would help patients feel better even if their OA was not improved,” she said.

Weiss studied the health records of almost 5,000 people between 45 and 79 years old who were part of the four-year National Institutes of Health Osteoarthritis Initiative study.

Of the participants, 1,390 had already been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, 3,284 did not have the disease but were at risk of developing it and 122 did not have osteoarthritis or related risk factors.

Weiss analyzed X-rays to determine the severity of patients’ arthritis and used the health records to gather information on their BMI and pain levels during everyday activities.

She found that patients with a higher BMI reported more pain, even after taking into account the severity of their joint damage.

For each category of arthritis severity, pain scores were substantially higher among obese patients than among normal-weight patients. Scores for overweight patients fell somewhere in the middle.

Comment: Losing weight should be considered a treatment for osteoarthritis.


How do I know if I have arthritis? Do you have pain and stiffness in any of your joints?

There are many things that the agony of pain can keep you from doing that you enjoy.  Do you like playing golf or spending quality time with your grandchildren?  Is there anyone in your life who would be positively affected if your arthritis was made better?  How would your life be different if your aches and pains disappeared by tomorrow?

If you think your pain could be a result of arthritis watch this video and see what symptoms have affected you.

Another encouraging stem cell study… from Korea

Fat Derived Stem Cells Help Knee OA

Reported in the journal Stem cells, a study from Korean investigators… The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of intra-articular injection of autologous adipose tissue derived MSCs (AD-MSCs) for knee osteoarthritis. They enrolled 18 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and injected AD MSCs into the knee. The primary outcomes were the safety and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included clinical, radiological, arthroscopic, and histological evaluations. There was no treatment-related adverse event. The WOMAC score improved at 6 months after injection in the high-dose group. The size of cartilage defect decreased while the volume of cartilage increased in the medial femoral and tibial condyles of the high-dose group. Arthroscopy showed that the size of cartilage defect decreased in the medial femoral and medial tibial condyles of the high-dose group. Histology demonstrated thick, hyaline-like cartilage regeneration. These results showed that intra-articular injection of AD MSCs into the osteoarthritic knee improved function and pain of the knee joint without causing adverse events, and reduced cartilage defects by regeneration of hyaline-like articular cartilage.

Comment: Interesting and promising study.

A unique and scary way to stop knee osteoarthritis pain next

Stem Cell |  Transcather Arterial Ablation Knee OA

Embolisation of abnormal neovessels relieves osteoarthritic knee pain

Lucy Piper writing for Medwire reported transcatheter arterial embolisation relieves knee pain in patients with moderate osteoarthritis who are resistant to pharmacological pain management, research suggests.

“This treatment is based on the notion that increased number of blood vessels and accompanying nerves are a possible source of chronic pain and that occlusion of these abnormal vessels might reduce such pain”, explain the researchers, led by Yuji Okuno (Edogawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan) and Amine Korchi (Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland).

The technical success rate in 14 patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis was 100%.  All abnormal neovessels were located within periarticular soft tissues surrounding the knee joints.

Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores rapidly improved following the procedure. These improvements were maintained in most patients at the final follow-up an average of 12 months later.  The mean overall visual analogue scale scores also decreased significantly.

“Transcatheter arterial embolization might act by stopping the influx of inflammatory cells in synovial tissues and thus have a beneficial effect against inflammation and pain”, they write in Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology.

There were no major adverse events with the procedure.  The team concludes that “transcatheter embolization targeting abnormal neovascularization in osteoarthritis is a feasible and safe interventional radiology procedure”.

Comment: Wow. Pretty impressive results.

So is it the weight or is it the diet that makes osteoarthritis worse… the answer next.

Unhealthy Dietary Fats May Be More Important Than Mechanical Factors In Link Between Obesity, OA.
Cliffor Fram writing for Rherumatology Update reported that “unhealthy dietary fats could be more important than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis (OA), according to the results of a US study conducted on mice with injured knees.” The rodents, “all of which had osteoarthritis as a result of their injury, were fed one of three high-fat diets: one rich in saturated fat, one rich in omega 6 fatty acids, and one rich in omega 6 fatty acids but supplemented with a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids.” The study, published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that mice “that ate diets high in saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acids experienced significant worsening of their arthritis, while mice consuming a small supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints.”

Comment: Stay away from those greasy burgers and fries

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