Men with osteoarthritis of the knee may want to avoid sugar-packed soft drinks. That’s the advice of researchers who found that drinking sugary soda is associated with progression of the disease in men.
No such link was found in women in the study of more than 2,000 people with knee osteoarthritis.
Researchers at Brown University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center studied over 2100 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study found that patients, particularly men who drank sugary soft drinks showed worse narrowing of the joint space in their knees – a significant symptom of osteoarthritis.
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While being overweight or obese are risk factors for osteoarthritis, this study found that men who weighed less, or had a lower BMI showed worse knee damage if they drank more soda compared to the more overweight men. Dr. Bing Lu, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead investigator suggests that soft drinks may cause damage independent of the wear and tear brought on by overweight and obesity.