Body mass and osteoarthritic pain: Results from a study in general practice

Marco A. Cimmino, Raffaele Scarpa, Roberto Caporali, Fabio Parazzini, Augusto Zaninelli, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To define the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand, hip, and knee in patients seen in general practice; to evaluate if overweight is related to co-morbidity and education, and influences the prescription patterns of GPs.Methods: 2,764 Italian GPs recruited 10 consecutive patients with symptomatic OA, diagnosed according to the ACR criteria. Pain intensity on a visual analogue scale, BMI, years of formal education, comorbidities, pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, and referral to specialists were recorded.Results: The most painful joints were the knee in 12,827 patients (53.6%), the hip in 5,645 (23.6%), and the hand in 5,467 (22.8%). A BMI indicative of overweight or obesity was found in 74.8% of men and in 68.3% of women. Mean BMI was higher in knee OA (27.9±3.9), in generalised OA (27.5±4.2), and hip OA (27±3.7) than in hand OA (25.5±3.4). The prevalence of obesity for hip and knee OA was higher than that reported for the general Italian population. Obesity was an important risk factor for pain in all OA localisations. Co-morbidities and lower education were associated with obesity and more intense pain (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Bmi
  • General practitioner
  • Italy
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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