Objective: To study the association between change in the body mass index (BMI) at different ages and the risk of a later total hip replacement (THR) due to primary osteoarthritis (OA).
Design: A total of 265,725 individuals who had two repeated measurements of weight and height were included from national health screenings. These individuals were followed prospectively. The data were matched with the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register and 4,442 of these individuals were identified as having received a THR for primary OA. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to calculate sex-specific relative risks for having a THR according to age at screening and BMI change.
Results: Men and women aged 20 years or younger at the first screening in the quartile with the greatest BMI change per year had more than twice the risk of later having a THR compared with those in the quartile with the smallest BMI change per year. For men older than 30 years at the first screening, there was no relationship between BMI gain, or weight gain, and later risk of THR. For older women, BMI gain was associated with risk of THR, but to a lesser degree than in younger women.
Conclusion: There was a clear relationship between change in BMI and the risk of later THR in young men and women, whereas the association was absent in older men and weaker in older women. It is important to focus on weight control to prevent future OA, and the preventive strategy should be focused on the young population.
Copyright © 2011 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.