Weight-Bearing Activity Ups Incident Knee OA in People With Low Lower-Limb Muscle Mass

Knee osteoarthritis only increased in people in the lowest lower-limb muscle mass quartile
Weight-Bearing Activity Ups Incident Knee OA in People With Low Lower-Limb Muscle Mass
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-bearing activity appears tied to incident knee osteoarthritis (OA) in people who have low levels of lower-limb muscle mass, according to a study published online April 30 in JAMA Network Open.

Yahong Wu, M.D., of the University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study using data from the Rotterdam Study. They included participants who had knee X-ray measurements at baseline and follow-up examinations. They evaluated the incidence of knee OA by knee X-ray and the incidence of symptomatic knee OA defined by X-ray and knee pain questionnaire. Different types of physical activity and their associations with radiographic knee OA were analyzed. The study included 5,003 individuals.

The researchers found that the knee OA incident rate was 8.4 percent with a mean follow-up time of 6.33 years. They also found that higher weight-bearing activity was linked to increased odds of knee OA, but non-weight-bearing activity was not. Furthermore, the association of weight-bearing activity with incident knee OA was only seen among patients in the lowest lower-limb muscle mass index tertile and not the middle or high tertiles.

"Although we did not find an association of recreational physical activity with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, we did find that weight-bearing activity could contribute to increased odds of radiographic knee osteoarthritis, but only among those with low lower-limb muscle mass index," the authors write. "Although physical activity is known to have numerous health benefits, our study suggests that caution is needed when engaging in weight-bearing activity."

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