Can Weight Loss Drugs Reduce Mortality Risk in Knee or Hip Osteoarthritis?

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Besides its significant impact on disability, symptomatic OA is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Current guidelines advise weight loss to improve function and reduce pain but there is little data on whether it also reduces mortality risk.

New research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology suggests that for people overweight or with obesity and also knee or hip osteoarthritis, a slow-to-moderate – but not fast – rate of weight loss caused by anti-obesity medications may lower their risk of premature death.

Researchers enrolled 6524 participants with knee or hip osteoarthritis who were taking orlistat, sibutramine, or rimonabant to the study. The five-year death rate was 5.3%, 4.0%, and 5.4% for the “weight gain/stable”, “slow-to-moderate weight loss,” and “fast weight loss” groups, respectively. Compared with the “weight gain/stable” group,” the risk of death was 28% lower for the “slow-to-moderate weight loss” group and only 1% lower for the “fast weight loss” arm.

“A slow-to-moderate rate of weight loss induced by anti-obesity medications may lower the risk of death in overweight/obese people with knee/hip osteoarthritis”, said first author Jie Wei, PhD, of Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, in China.

Source: Wiley

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