HealthDay News — For overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), greater weight loss is associated with superior clinical and mechanistic outcomes, according to a study published online June 18 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Stephen P. Messier, Ph.D., from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis randomized controlled clinical trial, which included 240 overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults with pain and radiographic knee OA. Participants were classified according to weight loss achieved over an 18-month period: <5 percent, ≥5 percent, ≥10 percent, and ≥20 percent.

The researchers found that for pain, function, six-minute walk distance, physical and mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL), knee joint compressive force, and interleukin-6, there were significant dose responses to weight loss. Superior clinical and mechanistic outcomes were seen with greater weight loss, with the ≥20 percent weight loss group differentiating itself on all measures versus the <5 percent and ≥5 percent weight loss groups. Compared with the ≥10 percent weight loss group, the ≥20 percent weight loss group had 25 percent less pain and better function, as well as significantly better physical HRQOL.

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“A 10 percent weight loss is the established target recommended by the National Institutes of Health as an initial weight loss for overweight and obese adults,” Messier said in a statement. “The importance of our study is that a weight loss of 20 percent or greater — double the previous standard — results in better clinical outcomes and is achievable without surgical or pharmacologic intervention.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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