(HealthDay News) – For overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), 18 months of diet and diet + exercise interventions is better than an exercise only intervention, with lower knee compressive force in the diet group and lower plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in both groups, according to a study published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Stephen P. Messier, PhD, from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, and colleagues conducted an 18-month randomized, clinical trial involving 454 overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults (aged ≥55 years) with pain and radiographic knee OA. Participants were randomized to diet, with or without exercise, compared with exercise alone.

The researchers found that weight loss was 1.8kg in the exercise group, compared with 8.9 and 10.6kg in the diet and diet + exercise groups, respectively. The knee compressive forces were significantly lower in diet participants than in exercise participants. Plasma IL-6 levels were significantly lower in diet and diet + exercise vs. exercise participants.

“Among overweight and obese adults with knee OA, after 18 months, participants in the diet + exercise and diet groups had more weight loss and greater reductions in IL-6 levels than those in the exercise group; those in the diet group had greater reductions in knee compressive force than those in the exercise group,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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