Aims: To investigate the association of being overweight or obese with the presence, extent, and severity of lumbar disc degeneration and lumbar spinal stenosis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in adults in the Indian population.
Study Design: Level 4, Cross-sectional study
Place and duration of study: Department of Orthopaedics, SVP Hospital, Ahmedabad between February 2019 and October 2019.
Methodology: A population-based cross-sectional study of 500 Indian volunteers was conducted. Subjects underwent radiographic and clinical assessment, and weight and height were measured. T2-weighted MRIs of the lumbar spine were obtained. The presence, extent, and severity of disc degeneration and additional radiographic and clinical parameters were assessed. Asian-modified body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) categories were used.
Results: The study included 305 men and 195 women (mean age 50.59 years). Disc degeneration was noted in 450 (90%) subjects. BMI was significantly higher in subjects with disc degeneration (mean 29.18 kg/m2) than in subjects without degeneration (mean 23.66 kg/m2). A significant increase in the number of degenerated levels, global severity of disc degeneration, and end-stage disc degeneration with lumbar spinal stenosis was noted with elevated BMI, in particular in overweight and obese subjects. End-stage disc degeneration with disc space narrowing was significantly more pronounced in obese subject.
Conclusion: Our findings, to systematically assess lumbar disc degeneration and lumbar spinal stenosis on MRI, indicated a significant association between the presence, extent, and global severity of disc degeneration and lumbar spinal stenosis with BMI (>23 kg/m2) in overweight and obese adults.