Major morbidity and mortality impact from obesity and knee osteoarthritis

January 01, 0001

Major morbidity and mortality impact from obesity and knee osteoarthritis

Obesity and knee osteoarthritis are among the most frequent chronic conditions affecting Americans aged 50 to 84 years. The aim of this study by researchers from the US and Australia was to estimate quality-adjusted life-years lost due to obesity and knee osteoarthritis and health benefits of reducing obesity prevalence to levels observed a decade ago. The U.S. Census and obesity data from national data sources were combined with estimated prevalence of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis to assign persons aged 50 to 84 years to 4 subpopulations: nonobese without knee osteoarthritis (reference group), nonobese with knee osteoarthritis, obese without knee osteoarthritis, and obese with knee osteoarthritis.

Estimated total losses of per-person quality-adjusted life- years ranged from 1.857 in nonobese persons with knee osteoarthritis to 3.501 for persons affected by both conditions, resulting in a total of 86.0 million quality-adjusted life-years lost due to obesity, knee osteoarthritis, or both. Quality- adjusted life-years lost due to knee osteoarthritis and/or obesity represent 10% to 25% of the remaining quality-adjusted survival of persons aged 50 to 84 years. Hispanic and black women had disproportionately high losses. Model findings suggested that reversing obesity prevalence to levels seen 10 years ago would avert 178,071 cases of coronary heart disease, 889,872 cases of diabetes, and 111,206 total knee replacements. Such a reduction in obesity would increase the quantity of life by 6,318,030 years and improve life expectancy by 7,812,120 quality-adjusted years in U.S. adults aged 50 to 84 years.

The researchers concluded: "The number of quality- adjusted life-years lost owing to knee osteoarthritis and obesity seems to be substantial, with black and Hispanic women experiencing disproportionate losses. Reducing mean body mass index to the levels observed a decade ago in this population would yield substantial health benefits."

Also, a growing problem.

For the full abstract, click here.

Ann Intern Med published online 22 February 2011
© 2010 by the American College of Physicians
Impact of Obesity and Knee Osteoarthritis on Morbidity and Mortality in Older Americans. Elena Losina, Rochelle P. Walensky, William M. Reichmann et al.

Category: M. Musculoskeletal. Keywords: obesity, knee, osteoarthritis, impact, morbidity, mortality, decision analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 18 March 2011

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