Bad Knees: Another Product of The Obesity Epidemic

This new study from the University of Utah offers one more rather obvious incentive and a great one for those of you fighting the obesity epidemic: Losing the extra pounds means your knees will last a lot longer. Seems morbid obesity leads to more than half of the knee operations performed annually in America to repair cartilage tears.

Researchers studied some 550 patients (ages 50-79) from 1996-2000 who had a cartilage tear repaired. Comparing the patients and their surgeries:

  • Patients with a body mass index even slightly above the health range increased the odds of tearing their cartilage by a factor of three.
  • The heaviest male and female were 15 and 25 times more likely, respectively, to experience a cartilage tear.

Because these numbers only represent the number of patients who had surgeries, those who elected not to have surgery or don't even bother to have their knees examined by a physician could push those numbers even higher, researchers said. Another factor that could play an important role in the propensity of obese patients and knee injuries: Circulation problems caused by reducing the flow of blood to the cartilage.

Fortunately, I've devoted countless pages on my Web site to help you battle obesity safely, successfully, healthfully and far less expensively. Here's a short how-to list:

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 28, Issue 4, May 2005: 364-368

Yahoo News May 9, 2005

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