Conference Coverage

Target childhood obesity now to prevent knee OA later

 

Key clinical point: Childhood overweight carries increased risk of patellar cartilage structural defects in young adulthood independent of adult weight.

Major finding: The prevalence of patellar cartilage defects in young adults was 24.2% in those who were normal weight both as children and young adults, compared with 40% in subjects who were overweight at both time points.

Data source: A prospective population-based cohort study of 322 subjects followed from childhood to age 31-41 years, when they were assessed via MRI for knee cartilage defects.

Disclosures: The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia supported the study. The presenter reported having no financial conflicts.


 

AT OARSI 2017

– Childhood overweight was associated with increased risk of patellar cartilage defects in young adulthood independent of adult weight status in what’s believed to be the first long-term prospective study to address the issue using informative MRI imaging.

“Our data indicate the importance of intervening in childhood obesity for adult joint health,” Benny E. Antony, MD, reported at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis, sponsored by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.

He presented the 25-year prospective follow-up from the population-based Childhood Determinants of Adult Knee Cartilage Study, a substudy of the Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey of 1985. The analysis included 322 nationally representative participants who were 7-15 years old at enrollment and 31-41 years old at follow-up, when they underwent screening MRI knee scans in which cartilage defects in the tibial, femoral, and patellar zones were rated by a modified Outerbridge scoring system.

Dr. Benny E. Antony, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Dr. Benny E. Antony

Of the young adults, 15% had a tibiofemoral cartilage defect and 24.5% had a defect of the patellar cartilage. Such structural cartilage defects on imaging have been shown to predict later development of osteoarthritis (OA).

The increased prevalence of patellar compared with tibiofemoral cartilage defects is consistent with growing evidence that knee OA typically starts in the patellar region and then spreads through the knee over time, according to Dr. Antony of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.

Among the other key findings:

• Women had a higher prevalence of cartilage defects: 43% in the whole knee and 30% at the patella, compared with rates of 34% and 20%, respectively, in men.

• The prevalence of patellar cartilage defects in young adulthood was 24.2% in those who had a normal weight both as children and young adults compared with 40% in participants who were overweight at both time points, for an adjusted 1.77-fold increased risk in subjects who were overweight across the decades, .

• Excess childhood weight per kilogram, fat mass per kilogram, and body mass per unit were each associated with 5%-12% increased risks of patellar cartilage defects 25 years later, independent of adult body weight status, in an analysis adjusted for childhood age, sex, height, duration of follow-up, and history of pediatric or adult knee injury.

• A dose-response relationship was evident between the degree of childhood overweight and the severity of cartilage defects as young adults on a 0-4 rating scale.

Dr. Antony reported having no financial conflicts of interest regarding the study, which was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

Next Article:

   Comments ()

Recommended for You

News & Commentary

Quizzes from MD-IQ

Research Summaries from ClinicalEdge