HealthDay News — The incidence of hand, hip, and knee osteoarthritis (OA) increases with overweight and obesity, particularly in the knee, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Carlen Reyes, MD, PhD, from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study using primary care records for subjects aged ≥40 years who were without a diagnosis of OA on January 1, 2006, and had body mass index (BMI) data available. A total of 1,764,061 subjects were observed for a median follow-up of 4.45 years.

The researchers found that the incidence rates of knee, hip, and hand OA were 3.7, 1.7, and 2.6 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, for subjects in the normal-weight category, and 19.5, 3.8, and 4.0, respectively, for those with grade II obesity. Being overweight or obese versus normal weight increased the risk of OA at all three joint sites, especially at the knee. The risk of knee OA increased two-, 3.1-, and 4.7-fold with a status of overweight, grade I obesity, and grade II obesity, respectively.

“Being overweight or obese increases the risk of hand, hip, and knee OA, with the greatest risk in the knee, and this occurs on a dose-response gradient of increasing BMI,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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