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Open Access Research article

Correlation between metabolic syndrome and knee osteoarthritis: data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES)

Chang Dong Han, Ik Hwan Yang, Woo Suk Lee, Yoo Jung Park and Kwan Kyu Park*

Author affiliations

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:603  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-603

Published: 22 June 2013



This study was designed to investigate the correlations of knee osteoarthritis (OA) with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and MetS parameters in Korean subjects.


This study included data from 270 subjects with knee OA and 1964 control subjects with a mean age of 54.56 (SD 11.53) years taken from the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine possible associations for knee OA with MetS and MetS parameters.


MetS was shown to be associated with an increased risk of knee OA in female subjects in unadjusted analysis (OR 1.798, 95% CI 1.392, 2.322), but this significance disappeared when adjusted for confounding factors (OR 1.117, 95% CI 0.805, 1.550). No significant association between MetS and knee OA was found in male subjects. Among parameters of MetS, only high waist circumference (WC) in female subjects was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of knee OA, even after adjusting for confounding factors, while no other significant associations were found in both male and female subjects.


We found that WC was associated with knee OA in female subjects, but neither MetS nor any parameters thereof were shown to be associated with knee OA in the Korean subjects of this study. Although we found no relationship between a pre-inflammatory state of MetS and knee OA, we believe further investigation of this relationship in various aspects is warranted, as MetS may also be a risk factor for complications in knee OA related procedures.

Metabolic syndrome; Knee; Osteoarthritis