Obesity is a known risk factor leading to the development of osteoarthritis of the knee. An Australian study conducted in April 2022 found that obese patients were significantly more likely to undergo knee replacement (KR) than their normal weight counterparts, and at an age 7 years younger on average than normal weight patients.
The study found that 31.9% of patients who underwent KR were overweight, and 57.7% were obese. The greater the weight of the patient, the greater the risk of undergoing KR.
This risk is especially prominent among obese women. For example, the study found that class III obese women were 17.3 times more likely to undergo KR than normal weight patients.
Wall, C.J., de Steiger, R.N., Vertullo, C.J., Stoney, J.D., Graves, S.E., Lorimer, M.F. and Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, S. (2022), Obesity is associated with an increased risk of undergoing knee replacement in Australia. ANZ Journal of Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1111/ans.17689