Systemic disorders with rheumatic manifestations: Edited by Geraldine McCarthyObesity and the musculoskeletal systemAnandacoomarasamy, Ananthilaa; Fransen, Marleneb; March, LynaAuthor Information aInstitute of Bone and Joint Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, Australia bMusculoskeletal Program, The George Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Correspondence to Professor Lyn March, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MSc, FAFPHM, Institute of Bone and Joint Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonard's, Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia Tel: +61 2 9926 7351; fax: +61 2 9906 1859; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Rheumatology: January 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 71-77 doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32831bc0d7 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To describe recent developments highlighting the effects and mechanisms of obesity and weight loss on the musculoskeletal system. Recent findings The global epidemic of obesity has far-reaching effects on the musculoskeletal system and associated conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathy, and fibromyalgia. Obesity increases the need for, and reduces the health outcomes from, joint replacement surgery, which has enormous implications for societal economic burden. New insights have been gained into the possible mechanisms by which obesity is associated with musculoskeletal disease incidence, symptom severity and treatment outcomes particularly for osteoarthritis. Research exploring the role of adipocytokines provides a novel possible metabolic link for these diseases. Summary Obesity has a significant impact on the musculoskeletal system being associated with both degenerative and inflammatory conditions. Future research assessing the effects of obesity and weight loss as well as further elucidating the action of adipocytokines will aid in the assessment and management of this increasingly prevalent condition. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.