Disclosures: Wall reports no relevant financial disclosures.
June 08, 2022
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Obesity may increase risk of TKR for OA

Disclosures: Wall reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Published results showed patients who were obese had an increased risk of undergoing total knee replacement for osteoarthritis at a younger age.

“Obesity is strongly associated with the risk of needing a TKR, particularly for female patients in younger age groups; and obese patients undergo TKR at a younger age than non-obese patients,” Christopher J. Wall, MBBS, BMedSc, FRACS, FAOrthA, lead investigator of the study, told Healio.

Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey and the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry, Wall and colleagues compared patients who underwent TKR for OA from July 2017 to June 2018 by BMI category with the general population in age and gender subgroups.

Christopher J. Wall
Christopher J. Wall

Researchers found 35.6% of Australian adults were overweight and 31.3% were obese during the study period. Of the 56,217 patients who underwent primary TKR for OA, researchers found 31.9% were overweight and 57.7% were obese. Results showed the relative risk of undergoing TKR for OA increased as BMI category increased. Among women aged 55 to 64 years, researchers found those with class 1, 2 and 3 obesity were 4.7, 8.4 and 17.3 times more likely, respectively, to undergo TKR vs. women without obesity. Researchers also found men aged 55 to 64 years with class 1, 2 and 3 obesity were 3.4, 4.5 and 5.8 times more likely, respectively, to undergo TKR than men without obesity. Compared with patients without obesity, patients with class 3 obesity underwent TKR 7 years younger, on average, according to results.

“We know from previous [Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry] reports that the risk of revision TKR is higher in obese patients and in younger patients,” Wall said. “Our findings are concerning because they suggest that Australia may face a growing burden of revision TKR in the future. We believe there is an urgent need for a societal-level approach to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Australia, in order to reduce the burden of obesity-related knee osteoarthritis, primary TKR and subsequent revision TKR.”