"We know that weight loss is probably the most important factor to slow disease progression," Roemer said. "Additional studies will have to show if other measures, such as vitamins or targeted treatment of bone marrow lesions, will help to slow progression," he said.
"Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal disorder with major health and socioeconomic impact in our aging society," added Roemer.
Dr. Sean Scully, a professor of orthopedics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, agreed that the danger of developing osteoarthritis is another reason to control weight.
"Don't let yourself get heavy," Scully said. "This study shows a direct correlation -- people who are heavy are the ones that are getting worse," he said.
Keeping your weight down -- through diet and exercise or weight-loss surgery -- could prevent the need for knee-replacement surgery, he said.
For more information on osteoarthritis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Frank W. Roemer, M.D., adjunct associate professor, Boston University, co-director, quantitative imaging center, department of radiology, Boston University School of Medicine; Sean Scully, M.D., Ph.D., professor of orthopedics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Fla.; August 2009, Radiology
All rights reserved