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Implications of Mechanical Load on Cartilage Metabolism in Young, Obese Adults During Exercise


Reports of research work funded by grants prior to 2016

Massey University

Implications of Mechanical Load on Cartilage Metabolism in Young, Obese Adults During Exercise

SP Shultz
School of Sport & Exercise

Project Synopsis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that leads to the erosion of joint cartilage.  In the end stages of this disease, the resulting pain is highly debilitating and drastically reduces quality of life.  Obesity is a risk factor for knee OA, and disease progression can begin in adolescence. To promote weight loss and slow the rate of OA progression, exercise is often prescribed.  However, the magnitude and type of mechanical loading associated with exercise can influence whether further damage occurs to the joint.  At this time, little attention has been given to which types of exercises might be potentially harmful.  Therefore, this pilot study continues to investigate the effect of exercising under three different mechanical loading scenarios on levels of blood based markers associated with cartilage metabolism in obese young adults of varying ethnicity.

The Proposed Timeline (as submitted at the time of the grant application)

February-July 2016:  Recruitment will occur over the greater Wellington region, primarily through approved flyers and newspaper advertisement.

March-September 2016:  Data collection will take approximately 6 months, accounting for lulls in recruitment and timing of collection (i.e. must be early morning and over three non-consecutive days).

April-December 2016: Data analysis of mechanical load and anthropometric variables will be ongoing during data collection.  Serum analysis will not take place until data collection is finished.

December 2016-November 2017: Dissemination of findings will include publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Progress to date

Ethics approval has been granted by Massey University Human Ethics Committee, Southern A.  Participants are being recruited, and data collection will begin in August.  The delay in data collection has been a consequence in delayed ethics approval, as well as the need to perfect the collection protocol (specifically cannulation) through pilot work.  It is still anticipated that all data collection and analysis will be completed prior to December 2016, with dissemination of findings occurring throughout 2017.

Research Outcomes

A master’s student has been assigned to assist in data collection and analysis, as part of his master’s thesis.  As part of his study, a review article is being drafted, discussing the mechanical implications of exercise in OA progression of young, obese adults.  The review article should be submitted for publication in late September.

In an effort to gain more financial support for the completion of this project, funding was awarded by the Massey University Research Fund and The Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust.  A further funding application has been submitted to Arthritis New Zealand; decisions will be announced in August.  Additional funding applications will be submitted to Wellington Surgical Research Trust and Lottery Health.


Implications of Mechanical Load on Cartilage Metabolism in Young, Obese Adults During Exercise

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