Overweight or obese men are more likely to need a hip replacement for osteoarthritis than their leaner counterparts, says a new study.
People who are overweight were previously known to be more likely to get osteoarthritis of the knee.
However, the current study has shown that being overweight is a risk factor for hip osteoarthritis in men but not women.
For the study, the researchers compared the body mass indexes of 1,473 Icelandic people who had undergone hip or knee replacement with those of 1,103 people who had not had joint replacement surgery. All were born between 1910 and 1939.
They found women who were overweight (BMI>25) were no more likely to have had a hip replacement than women of normal weight, but men were.
On the contrary, men who were obese (BMI>30) were 70 per cent more likely to have had hip replacement surgery.
People of both sexes who were overweight were much more likely to have had knee replacement surgery and the more overweight they were the more likely it was.
Men who were obese were five times more likely to have had a replacement knee and women four times more likely.
"The study supports a positive association between high BMI and total knee replacement in both sexes, but for total hip replacement the association with BMI seems to be weaker, and possibly negligible for women," the authors said.
The study is published online ahead of print in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.