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What Causes Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis?

By October 16, 2011

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Not only do osteoarthritis patients want to know if their condition is going to worsen, many wonder what factors predict osteoarthritis progression. According to study results presented at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis, male gender, obesity, pain level, and severity of joint damage on baseline x-rays were predictors of osteoarthritis progression. Race, multiple joint involvement, knee misalignment, and physical inactivity did not predict progression. Smoking and depression also were not found to predict progression of osteoarthritis.

According to MDConsult.com, the data used to make the determination came from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Obesity stands out as a factor that is modifiable. Patients who entered the study with a body mass index of 30 or higher were 1.5 times more likely to experience disease progression than patients with a BMI below 25. Focusing on modifiable risk factors is important to slowing progression of osteoarthritis.

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Photo by Sebastian Kaulitzki (iStockphoto)

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