Does being overweight cause arthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is more common in women than men by a two to one (2:1) ratio. Women are more likely to have arthritis in both knees. And, as you suspect, women who are overweight are more likely to have OA.

Some scientists think the link between obesity and OA is so strong. They say, "obesity causes knee OA." Others feel obesity is a risk factor for OA. In other words, your chances of developing OA are greater if you are overweight.

Obesity is a risk factor for loss of mobility and function in patients with OA. In this sense, obesity is a risk factor for disability as well. Patients having knee surgery are more likely to be overweight. And they are more likely to have less function and more
limitations after the operation. This is compared to women the same age having the same surgery who are normal-weight.


Mark M. Harrison, MD, FRCSC, et al. Influence of Obesity on Outcome after Knee
Arthroscopy. In Arthroscopy. September 2004. Vol. 20. No. 7. Pp. 691-695.


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