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Obese People Can Preserve Their Knee Cartilage by Losing Weight, says Study

02/12/2015

Obese People Can Preserve Their Knee Cartilage by Losing Weight, says StudyA new study presented at the recent Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago, Illinois reveals that knee cartilage degeneration is significantly slowed in obese patients who lose a substantial amount of weight.

Over 500 overweight patients were assessed for the study, which used an MRI scanner to measure the progression of knee cartilage degeneration, allowing the researchers to investigate the impact that different amounts of weight loss can have.

The researchers discovered that patients who lost more than 10% of their body weight had slower knee cartilage degeneration, also known as osteoarthritis. The knee is one of the most common parts of the body to be struck by osteoarthritis and patients often need to have their entire knee replaced if the disease progresses too far.

Study leader Dr. Alexandra Gersing, from the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), said that while the effects of osteoarthritis cannot be reversed without surgery, “obese patients who lose weight can slow down the progression of cartilage degeneration in the knee.”

The study was conducted over a four year period and involved over 500 overweight and obese patients. The researchers are now planning to conduct a further study, which will investigate how diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity, also affects cartilage degeneration.

For the time being, however, overweight and obese individuals can slow their cartilage degeneration by losing weight. And while that’s not always as easy as it sounds, weight loss surgery is sometimes an option for obese patients to consider.

 

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