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UIC study examines exercise and weight loss for older adults with osteoarthritis
Date:8/9/2012

The University of Illinois at Chicago has been awarded a $3 million grant to study the effectiveness of two community-based health promotion programs for older adults with osteoarthritis.

The research is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

The study will compare Fit and Strong!, an evidence-based physical activity and health behavior change program, with Fit and Strong! Plus, the traditional program with an added weight management/dietary component.

Fit and Strong! has proven effective for older adults with osteoarthritis, the most common chronic condition and the primary cause of disability in older adults.

"Fit and Strong! can improve joint stiffness, pain and function, anxiety/depression, lower extremity strength and gait speed and enhance maintenance of physical activity in older adults for up to 18 months," said Susan Hughes, co-principal investigator of the project and co-director of the Center for Research on Health and Aging at UIC's Institute for Health Research and Policy.

While the traditional program has been very successful, "we felt that we needed to address the underlying weight issues that cause or exacerbate lower extremity osteoarthritis," Hughes said.

In the new study, researchers will enroll 400 adults ages 60 and older with lower extremity osteoarthritis who have a body mass index of between 25 and 50. Half will be enrolled in Fit and Strong! and half in Fit and Strong! Plus.

Participants in Fit and Strong! Plus will participate in the traditional program and will also receive dietary and weight loss interactive sessions. The goal is to achieve a minimum 5 percent weight loss by increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreasing saturated fats and sugar sweetened drinks, reducing overall calorie consumption, and learning to manage triggers that can lead to overeating.

The weight loss component is adapted from a successful weight loss trial funded by the
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Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzlez
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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