According to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research, the risk of osteoarthritis is far higher than experts had previously thought. The results of their latest study suggest that nearly 1 in 2 people will develop osteoarthritis in a knee before they reach the age of 85, with the risk approaching 2 in 3 for people who are overweight or obese.
Researchers estimated that the risk of having symptoms of osteoarthritis in at least one knee by age 85 was 45%. Race, sex and education level seemed to have no effect on the risk of getting arthritis in a knee.
But risk escalated significantly with increasing body weight. Those who maintained a normal weight over the course of their lives had the lowest lifetime risk of any group in the study – 30%. Those who were normal weight at age 18, but overweight or obese at the start of the study and at their follow-up exams had the highest lifetime risk of knee osteoarthritis – 60%.
Previous studies have shown that being just 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30 to 60 pounds. In another study of osteoarthritis, researchers estimated that a women who lost 11 pounds or about 2 Body Mass Index (BMI) points, decreased her risk of osteoarthritis by more than 50%.
Knee injuries also elevated the risk of osteoarthritis; 58% of those with a history of knee damage could expect to develop arthritis later in life. Keys to preventing osteoarthritis include maintaining proper weight and preventing injury. Keeping muscles strong, particularly the quadriceps (the big muscles on the front of the thighs), helps prevent knee injuries.
Recently, University of Southern California researchers evaluated the scientific evidence on the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for treating knee osteoarthritis. What they found is that almost every trial they looked at found these compounds to be safe. And, when used in combination, glucosamine and chondroitin relieved osteoarthritis pain. Individually, glucosamine and chondroitin were less consistent in decreasing pain and improving joint function.
Arthritis is a major cause of disability in the United States. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, and the most common kind is osteoarthritis.
If you currently have joint pain or are looking to support cartilage and joint function, you can start on your Pathway to Healing with our Joint Support supplement. It has glucosamine, chondroitin and six other nutrients and herbs that help your body maintain joint tissue.
To help you reach or maintain a normal weight, decreasing your risk of arthritis, it's best to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. But you can greatly increase your chance of success by taking the right combination of natural supplements. Our Weight Management Program provides you with all the key ingredients you need to achieve optimal weight.