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Obesity is Associated with an Increased Prevalence of Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis and Arthroplasty: A Cohort Study

Posted on: February 4th, 2021 by Our Team

While osteoarthritis frequently involves the knee and hips, it can also present to a lesser degree in other joints including the shoulder. Physicians commonly agree that the increased incidence of osteoarthritis in the knees and hips compared to joints like the shoulder is likely due to the fact that these joints are constantly under stress supporting the weight of the body. In turn, this causes more wear and tear of the cartilage surfaces. Many studies show an exaggeration of osteoarthritis in obese individuals likely due to their increased weight causing more stress on the joints, however, recent studies also show that obesity creates a chronic inflammatory state that can affect cartilage surfaces. Since shoulders do not support any body weight it was unknown how obesity affects rates of osteoarthritis. Thus, this study compared the rates of shoulder osteoarthritis in individuals with different BMI cohorts. The authors found that there was a small but progressive increase in shoulder osteoarthritis prevalence with increased BMI. Overall, this study opened the discussion that there may be more factors in play causing osteoarthritis rather than just mechanical overload of the joint.

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