Knee Osteoarthritis Rates Are Soaring
as Americans Gain Weight

An estimated 45% of Americans will develop knee osteoarthritis in at least one knee by age 85, according to a study reported in the journal, Arthritis Care and Research in September, 2008.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a leading cause of disability; and hospitalizations for the condition are soaring, researchers discovered. The study concluded that the knee joints of nearly two-thirds of obese persons will be affected during their lifetimes.

The study was conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the University of North Carolina. It was based on research conducted on 3,068 North Carolina adults age 45 and older.

Researchers estimated from their findings that the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee rose with weight. The risk of developing knee arthritis in at least one knee by the age of 85 was set at 45% on the average. However, people within normal weight were projected to develop the disease at only 35%, whereas an overweight person's risk is 44% and for the obese, a whopping 65%.

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