ACR: Losing Weight Improves Knee Pain

A weight loss of 15 pounds can improve quality of life for those with knee osteoarthritis

MONDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Losing just 15 pounds can result in substantial pain relief among patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to new research presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Washington, D.C.

Steffany Haaz, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed changes in weight, pain and quality of life among 30 mildly obese adults with knee osteoarthritis who participated in a 16-week behavioral weight-loss program that comprised weekly meetings on diet, exercise and lifestyle change. Participants then met quarterly to discuss weight-maintenance strategies in the first year after the intervention.

Patients lost an average of 15 pounds over the initial four-month study period and regained an average of 5.5 pounds during the ensuing year. Weight loss was associated with changes in role physical and bodily pain domains as assessed by the Short Form-36. Those patients with low levels of bodily pain after the weight-loss program ended were among the most likely to keep the weight off at follow-up, the study found.

"For someone who is very overweight, as little as a 15-pound weight loss over 16 weeks can result in decreased discomfort, increased quality of life, and motivation for staying active and healthy," said Haaz in a written statement.

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