PURPOSE - Report the radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) structural outcomes of an 18-month study of diet-induced weight loss, with or without exercise, compared to exercise alone in older, overweight and obese adults with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA).
METHODS - Prospective, single-blind, randomized controlled trial that enrolled 454 overweight and obese (body mass index, BMI = 27-41 kg m(-2)) older (age ≥ 55 yrs) adults with knee pain and radiographic evidence of femorotibial OA. Participants were randomized to one of three 18-month interventions: diet-induced weight loss only (D); diet-induced weight loss plus exercise (D + E); or exercise-only control (E). X-rays (N = 325) and MRIs (N = 105) were acquired at baseline and 18 months follow-up. X-ray and MRI (cartilage thickness and semi-quantitative (SQ)) results were analyzed to compare change between groups at 18-month follow-up using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) adjusted for baseline values, baseline BMI, and gender.
RESULTS - Mean baseline descriptive characteristics of the cohort included: age, 65.6 yrs; BMI 33.6 kg m(-2); 72% female; 81% white. There was no significant difference between groups in joint space width (JSW) loss; D -0.07 (SE 0.22) mm, D + E -0.27 (SE 0.22) mm and E -0.16 (SE 0.24) mm (P = 0.79). There was also no significant difference in MRI cartilage loss between groups; D -0.10(0.05) mm, D + E -0.13(0.04) mm and E -0.05(0.04) mm (P = 0.42).
CONCLUSION - Despite the potent effects of weight loss in this study on symptoms as well as mechanistic outcomes (such as joint compressive force and markers of inflammation), there was no statistically significant difference between the three active interventions on the rate of structural progression either on X-ray or MRI over 18-months.
Copyright © 2015 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.