Background: Current studies and research support the role of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, few studies have focused on its impact on knee OA parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate if metabolic syndrome or its individual components affect the intensity of pain, functional disability, and radiographic severity in knee osteoarthritis women.
Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study including confirmed radiographic knee osteoarthritis according to Kellgren and Lawrence scale, with and without metabolic syndrome according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. The two groups were compared for pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Lequesne index, Womac function, and radiological grade after adjusting for significant covariates. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the independent effects of each specific component for metabolic syndrome on knee osteoarthritis parameters.
Results: One hundred thirty women were included. The mean age was 56.68 ±8.07 [34-75] years, and the mean BMI was 32.54±2.92 [23-37] kg/m2. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 48.5%. Women with and without metabolic syndrome had similar knee osteoarthritis parameters. However, accumulation of MetS components was associated with higher level of pain (OR = 3.7, CI = [1.5-5.9], p=0.001), independently of age and BMI. Multiple regression analyses showed, after adjusting for all covariates, that hyperglycemia had a positive impact on pain (p=0.009), waist circumference was positively associated with Lequesne index (p=0.04), high triglycerides level was significantly associated with increased pain (p=0.04) and higher Lequesne score (p=0.05), and Systolic blood pressure was positively correlated with Lequesne index (p=0.01).
Conclusion: In addition to weight reduction, appropriate treatment of metabolic syndrome needs to become an important management strategy for knee pain and functional impairment.