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Highly Accessed Editorial

Metabolic factors in osteoarthritis: obese people do not walk on their hands

Erlangga Yusuf

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, C1-46, Postbus 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:123  doi:10.1186/ar3894


See related research by Massengale et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/14/3/R132

Published: 19 July 2012

Abstract

Obesity is an important risk factor for the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Recently, the paradigm that obesity predisposes people to OA because of extra-mechanical loading only has shifted to the paradigm that metabolic factors (adipokines) are also involved in the pathophysiology of OA. In a cross-sectional study in the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Massengale and colleagues investigated the association between one of the adipokines - leptin - and hand OA. Hand joints are an ideal target to investigate the role of adipokines since they are not weight-bearing. Interestingly, no association with OA was found, bringing into question a metabolic, rather than a mechanical, explanation for the association between obesity and OA.