Shedding a Few Pounds May Reduce Arthritis Risk
Losing even a modest amount of weight could reduce your risk of osteoarthritis, a new Dutch study suggests. Researchers followed 353 overweight and obese women, average age 56, for two and a half years. Those who managed to lose at least 5% of their body weight - an average of about 11 pounds - were 25% less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than women who didn’t lose weight. Weight loss was also associated with only half the incidence of osteophytes - growths associated with cartilage damage at joints - in radiographic scans. Participants' average BMI was 33, putting them in the obese category, and only 61 achieved the weight-loss goal. Researchers, publishing their findings in Arthritis Care & Research, noted that their observational study can’t prove cause and effect, but said the results should encourage people to aim for such a “reasonable and reachable” weight-loss target.