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International Healthcare News: Obese children 'could suffer from osteoarthritis'

Expatriate international health insurance customers may wish to ensure their children are not overweight, after one expert claimed an epidemic of osteoarthritis is likely to occur in the near future.

Arthritis Care chief executive Neil Betterridge noted this is a degenerative condition, meaning it is more likely to affect the elderly, but current trends indicate "younger people in the next generation" could suffer from this problem.

"Obesity is one of the major causes" of this ailment, he said, explaining that an individual carrying extra weight puts pressure on their joints.

Currently, extreme sports participants, rugby players and ex-professional footballers have a high incidence of this condition, with it usually situated on their knees, the expert asserted.

Generally, older people have osteoarthritis at a higher incidence than younger men and women, as "bones and joints wear out a bit" over time.

Mr Betteridge's comments follow the discovery of a gene associated with this ailment by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the third genetic marker found relating to this disease so far.

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