Obesity defined by body mass index and waist circumference and risk of total knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis: A prospective cohort study

Yuan Z. Lim, Yuanyuan Wang, Flavia M. Cicuttini, Graham G. Giles, Stephen Graves, Anita E. Wluka, Sultana Monira Hussain

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To examine the risk of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) due to osteoarthritis associated with obesity defined by body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC) and whether there is discordance between these measures in assessing this risk. Methods 36,784 participants from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study with BMI and WC measured at 1990–1994 were included. Obesity was defined by BMI (≥30 kg/m2) or WC (men ≥102cm, women ≥88cm). The incidence of TKA between January 2001 and December 2018 was determined by linking participant records to the National Joint Replacement Registry. Results Over 15.4±4.8 years, 2,683 participants underwent TKA. There were 20.4% participants with BMI-defined obesity, 20.8% with WC-defined obesity, and 73.6% without obesity defined by either BMI or WC. Obesity was classified as non-obese (misclassified obesity) in 11.7% of participants if BMI or WC alone was used to define obesity. BMI-defined obesity (HR 2.69, 95%CI 2.48–2.92), WC-defined obesity (HR 2.28, 95%CI 2.10–2.48), and obesity defined by either BMI or WC (HR 2.53, 95%CI 2.33–2.74) were associated with an increased risk of TKA. Compared with those without obesity, participants with misclassified obesity had an increased risk of TKA (HR 2.06, 95%CI 1.85–2.30). 22.7% of TKA in the community can be attributable to BMI-defined obesity, and a further 3.3% of TKA can be identified if WC was also used to define obesity. Conclusions Both BMI and WC should be used to identify obese individuals who are at risk of TKA for osteoarthritis and should be targeted for prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0245002
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2021

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