Funding: Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme
Supervisor: Dr Philip McTernan, Associate Professor (CSRI)
One significant risk factor for developing OA is obesity. As obese patients tend to develop knee OA, the relationship is often explained by mechanical factors – i.e. excessive load on the joint induces cartilage degeneration. However, this explanation cannot adequately satisfy the observation that obese patients are also predisposed to OA of the carpometacarpo joints of the hands. These joints are not clearly over-loaded but nevertheless suffer cartilage degeneration in obese patients (Cicuttini et al, 1996). This suggests a metabolic and/or endocrine relationship between obesity and OA.
The current literature review identifies and evaluates potential metabolic causes of osteoarthritis in obese patients.