Which kid will have knee OA by age 50?

Reference:Wills AK, et al Life course body mass index and risk of knee osteoarthritis at the age of 53 years: evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 May;71(5):655-60.

This longitudinal British study analyzed the risk of developing knee OA in over 3000 men and women at their midlife. Their BMIs were measured 10 times from age 2 to 53 years.

What did they discover?

#1: The prevalence of knee OA was higher in women than in men.

#2: In women, increased BMI from childhood was positively associated with knee OA.

#3: In men, increased BMI from adolescence was positively associated with knee OA.

#4: In both men and women, prolonged exposure to high BMI throughout adulthood carried the highest risk of developing knee OA.

Basic Conclusion: This relatively large study suggests that a high BMI from childhood, adolescence to adulthood increases the risk of developing knee OA.

Clinical Relevance: With the unfortunate rise in childhood obesity rates, we may be dealing with a significant rise in the number of adults with knee OA in the next 30-40 years!

As PTs we are obligated to educate all our patients on the benefits of an active lifestyle. We must encourage kids and teens to exercise, or to just walk to school or to the mall …regrettably colas, cars, iPods and laptops often win!

Posted on: December 16, 2012

Categories: Knee

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