Background. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the world and is recognized as a substantial source of disability. For people with OA of the knee, exercise in combination with weight loss is a proven, effective, conservative treatment option, yet evidence is lacking for people with hip OA.
Objective. The aim of this study was to obtain preliminary evidence of the effect of a program of exercise in combination with weight loss on physical function in people who have hip OA and are overweight or obese.
Design. This investigation was a prospective cohort study.
Methods. Thirty-five people who were 25 years or older, had clinical and radiological evidence of hip OA, and were overweight or obese (body mass index of >25 kg/m(2)) were included. They participated in an 8-month program of exercise in combination with weight loss. A body mass index of 40 kg/m(2) was used as the upper limit. The primary outcome was self-reported physical function, as measured with a subscale of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index. Secondary outcome measures included pain and walking tests as quantitative measures of function.
Results. Participation in the combination program resulted in a 32.6% improvement in self-reported physical function after 8 months, a finding that could be considered clinically relevant. Significant improvements also were seen in pain and on walking tests.
Limitations. The lack of a control group was a limitation of this study.
Conclusions. This appears to be the first study investigating the effect of exercise and weight loss as a combination treatment in people with hip OA. The results provide preliminary evidence that this combination treatment is effective in people with hip OA.