Are your patients with osteoarthritis also living with obesity?

Learn about the connection between this common comorbidity for your patients with obesity and how it can affect their health

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Patients with obesity are associated with an increased risk of knee OA1

The damaging impact of obesity on OA may be due to mechanical stress and other factors2-6

Mechanical stress

  • Structural damage
  • Abnormal cell activities
  • Inflammation of synovial membrane

Metabolic impact through the functions of adipokines

  • Additional inflammation
  • Cartilage degeneration
  • Bone remodeling

A meta-analysis of patients with OA showed that obesity is associated with greater pain, long-term disability, and complications following hip or knee arthroplasty.7

Increased BMI can mean an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis8

BMI and osteoarthritis statistic

A population-based cohort study involving data from approximately 1.7 million Spanish adults, at least 40 years of age, over a median of about 4.5 years. The study aimed to analyze the effect of overweight and obesity on the incidence of diagnosed knee, hip, and hand osteoarthritis.



With a 5% to 10% weight loss, knee functionality, speed, walking distance, and pain can improve.9,10*

*Knee MRI and X-ray findings do not change after weight loss.

Obesity is caused by a range of factors


Patients may be waiting for HCPs to take that important first step and discuss weight management



1. Garvey WT, Mechanick JI, Brett EM; and Reviewers of the AACE/ACE Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity. Endocr Pract. 2016;22(suppl 3):1-203.

2. Chen L, Zheng JJY, Li G, et al. Pathogenesis and clinical management of obesity-related knee osteoarthritis: impact of mechanical loading. J Orthop Translat. 2020;24:66-75.

3. Xie C, Chen Q. Adipokines: new therapeutic target for osteoarthritis? Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2019;21(12):71.

4. Presle N, Pottie P, Dumond H, et al. Differential distribution of adipokines between serum and synovial fluid in patients with osteoarthritis. Contribution of joint tissues to their articular production. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006;14(7):690-695.

5. Tsuchida AI, Beekhuizen M, `t Hart MC, et al. Cytokine profiles in the joint depend on pathology, but are different between synovial fluid, cartilage tissue and cultured chondrocytes. Arthritis Res Ther. 2014;16(5):441.

6. Ushiyama T, Chano T, Inoue K, Matsusue Y. Cytokine production in the infrapatellar fat pad: another source of cytokines in knee synovial fluids. Ann Rheum Dis. 2003;62(2):108-112.

7. Pozzobon D, Ferreira PH, Blyth FM, Machado GC, Ferreira ML. Can obesity and physical activity predict outcomes of elective knee or hip surgery due to osteoarthritis? A meta-analysis of cohort studies. BMJ Open. 2018;8(2):e017689.

8. Reyes C, Leyland KM, Peat G, Cooper C, Arden NK, Prieto-Alhambra D. Association between overweight and obesity and risk of clinically diagnosed knee, hip, and hand osteoarthritis: a population-based cohort study. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016;68(8):1869-1875.

9. Gersing AS, Solka M, Joseph GB, et al. Progression of cartilage degeneration and clinical symptoms in obese and overweight individuals is dependent on the amount of weight loss: 48-month data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016;24(7):1126-1134.

10. Ryan DH, Yockey SR. Weight loss and improvement in comorbidity: differences at 5%, 10%, 15% and over. Curr Obes Rep. 2017;6(2):187-194.


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