New research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology suggests that individuals who are overweight or obese and also suffer from knee or hip osteoarthritis may benefit from a slow-to-moderate rate of weight loss achieved through the use of anti-obesity medications.
This approach appears to lower the risk of premature death in this specific population.
The study involved 6,524 participants diagnosed with knee or hip osteoarthritis who were taking anti-obesity medications, specifically orlistat, sibutramine, or rimonabant.
The participants were categorized into three groups based on their weight changes: “weight gain/stable,” “slow-to-moderate weight loss,” and “fast weight loss.”
Over a five-year period, the study observed varying death rates among these groups. Specifically, the five-year death rate was 5.3% for the “weight gain/stable” group, 4.0% for the “slow-to-moderate weight loss” group, and 5.4% for the “fast weight loss” group.
In comparison to the “weight gain/stable” group, the “slow-to-moderate weight loss” group exhibited a 28% lower risk of death, while the “fast weight loss” group showed only a 1% lower risk.
Dr. Jie Wei, the first author of the study from Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China, emphasized that a gradual and moderate rate of weight loss achieved through anti-obesity medications can significantly reduce the risk of death in individuals who are overweight or obese and also suffer from knee or hip osteoarthritis.
These findings suggest that a measured approach to weight loss, rather than rapid weight loss, may be more beneficial and safer for individuals with osteoarthritis in terms of reducing their mortality risk.
This research underscores the potential benefits of combining anti-obesity medications with a weight loss strategy tailored to the specific needs and health conditions of patients with osteoarthritis.
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The research findings can be found in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
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