Knee osteoarthritis in obese women with cardiometabolic clustering




To assess the role of obesity and metabolic dysfunctionality with knee osteoarthritis (OA), knee joint pain, and physical functioning performance, adjusted for joint space width (JSW) asymmetry.


Knee OA was defined as a Kellgren/Lawrence score ≥2 on weight-bearing radiographs. Obesity was defined as a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2. Cardiometabolic clustering classification was based on having ≥2 of the following factors: low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, C-reactive protein, waist:hip ratio, or glucose; or diabetes mellitus. The difference between lateral and medial knee JSW was used to determine joint space asymmetry.


In a sample of women (n = 482, mean age 47 years), prevalences of knee OA and persistent knee pain were 11% and 30%, respectively. The knee OA prevalence in nonobese women without cardiometabolic clustering was 4.7%, compared with 12.8% in obese women without cardiometabolic clustering and 23.2% in obese women with cardiometabolic clustering. Nonobese women without cardiometabolic clustering were less likely to perceive themselves as limited compared with women in all other obesity/cardiometabolic groups (P < 0.05). Similar associations were seen with knee pain and physical functioning measures. The inclusion of a joint space asymmetry measure was associated with knee OA but not with knee pain or physical functioning.


Knee OA was twice as frequent in obese women with cardiometabolic clustering compared with those without, even when considering age and joint asymmetry. Obesity/cardiometabolic clustering was also associated with persistent knee pain and impaired physical functioning.