Special Theme Articles: Obesity and the Rheumatic Diseases
Association of weight gain with incident knee pain, stiffness, and functional difficulties: A longitudinal study
Article first published online: 27 DEC 2012
Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 65, Issue 1, pages 34–43, January 2013
How to Cite
Tanamas, S. K., Wluka, A. E., Davies-Tuck, M., Wang, Y., Strauss, B. J., Proietto, J., Dixon, J. B., Jones, G., Forbes, A. and Cicuttini, F. M. (2013), Association of weight gain with incident knee pain, stiffness, and functional difficulties: A longitudinal study. Arthritis Care Res, 65: 34–43. doi: 10.1002/acr.21745
- Issue published online: 27 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 27 DEC 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 JUN 2012 10:36AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 13 JAN 2012
- National Health and Medical Research Council, Monash University
- Shepherd Foundation
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award. Grant Number: level 1, 545876
To examine the longitudinal association between significant weight change and change in knee symptoms (pain, stiffness, and function), and to determine whether the effects differ in those who are obese and those with osteoarthritis (OA).
Two hundred fifty subjects ranging from normal weight to obese (body mass index range 16.9–59.1 kg/m2) and no significant musculoskeletal disease were recruited from the general community and weight loss clinics and organizations. Seventy-eight percent were followed at ∼2 years. Weight, height, and knee symptoms (using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) were assessed at baseline and followup. Any weight loss methods were recorded.
Thirty percent of subjects lost ≥5% of baseline weight, 56% of subjects' weight remained stable (loss or gain of <5% of baseline weight), and 14% of subjects gained ≥5% of baseline weight. Using estimated marginal means, weight gain was associated with worsening pain (mean 27.1 mm; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] −1.1, 55.2), stiffness (mean 18.4 mm; 95% CI 1.5, 35.3), and function (mean 99.3 mm; 95% CI 4.0, 194.6) compared to stable weight. Weight loss was associated with reduced pain (mean −22.4 mm; 95% CI −44.4, −0.3), stiffness (mean −15.3 mm; 95% CI −28.50, −2.0), and function (mean −73.2 mm; 95% CI −147.9, 1.3) compared to stable weight.
Weight gain was associated with adverse effects on knee symptoms, particularly in those who are obese and who have OA. Although losing weight is potentially beneficial for symptom improvement, the effects were more modest. Avoiding weight gain is important in managing knee symptoms.