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Orthop Surg. 2014 Feb;6(1):23-7. doi: 10.1111/os.12093.

Metabolic syndrome increases the prevalence of spine osteoarthritis.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To determine whether the prevalence of severe spinal osteoarthritis (OA) increases with the number of metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors.


Data from a single surgeon's high volume, spine surgery practice were reviewed. Severe OA was defined as degenerative spondylolisthesis or cervical or lumbar stenosis causing neurologically based symptoms and early OA as lumbar and cervical spondylosis causing axial pain only. Logistic regression modeling was used to determine the odds (adjusted for age and sex) of having severe spine OA with more numerous MetS risk factors.


Severe spinal OA was identified in 839/1502 patients (55.9%) and early OA in the remaining 663 individuals (44.1%). The overall prevalence of MetS was 30/1502 (2.0%): 26/839 (3.1%) in the severe OA group and 4/663 (0.6%) in the early OA group (P = 0.001). Presence of all four MetS risk factors was associated with almost quadruple the odds of having severe OA as compared with absence of risk factors (OR 3.9 [1.4-11.6], P < 0.01).


The components of MetS are more prevalent in subjects with severe spinal OA than in those with spondylosis causing axial pain. Future study of the association between MetS and the incidence of OA is required.


Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Osteoarthritis; Spine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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