A community-based study suggests there may be a dose-response relationship between the amount of weight loss achieved and the level of knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptom improvement.

The study, published recently in Arthritis Care & Research, explains further that weight loss of more than 10% is associated with a greater improvement in knee OA symptoms, and better knee function, compared with weight loss of 2.5% to 5%.

In the study, 1,383 participants with symptomatic knee OA—71% of whom were female—enrolled in an 18-week weight loss program. The program included three 6-week phases that incorporate a portion-control eating plan; an activity plan that included strength, balance, and mobility exercises; and online symptom, progress, satisfaction tracking, two-way personal motivation, support, and advice. The program’s aim was to achieve a weight loss of 7% to 10% over the 18 weeks. The program was then followed by an open-ended long-term maintenance phase, explains a media release from Arthritis Care & Research.

During the study, 94.2% of the participants reduced their body weight by more than 2.5%. The mean weight loss among the participants was 8.3%.

The researched team observed a dose-response relationship between the participants’ weight loss and their knee OA symptoms, in that those who lost 10% or more of their body weight experienced the greatest improvements in knee pain and function, according to the release.

“This study is unique in that it demonstrates the feasibility of dietary intervention, coupled with motivational support, in a true-to-life community setting,” the investigators write in the study, per the release.

“It is noteworthy that the entire dietary intervention was supported by remotely delivered interventions, which were web, paper, or telephone-based. In addition, this project demonstrated the effectiveness of focusing on weight loss per se in improving knee OA symptoms,” they continue.

[Source(s): Arthritis Care & Research, Medpage Today]