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2 in 5 adults with rheumatoid arthritis are physically inactive
Date:1/25/2012

A new study, funded by a grant from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), found that two in five adults (42%) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were inactive. Taking measures to motivate RA patients to increase their physical activity will improve public health according to the findings now available in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

The ACR estimates nearly 1.3 million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with RA, a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by systemic joint inflammation that can damage joints, impair function, and cause significant disability. Until the early 1980s, medical experts recommended medication and rest for those with arthritis. However, current medical evidence now suggests that regular, moderate physical activity benefits arthritis sufferers by maintaining joint flexibility, improving balance, strengthening muscles, and reducing pain.

"While there is much evidence of the benefits of physical activity, RA patients are generally not physically active, and physicians often do not encourage regular physical activity in this patient population," explains Dr. Jungwha Lee, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. "Our study aims to expand understanding of the risk factors associated with inactivity among adults with RA and encourage clinical interventions that promote participation in physical activity."

Dr. Lee and colleagues analyzed data on 176 RA patients, 18 years of age or older enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of an intervention promoting physical activity. The team evaluated pre-intervention data for inactivity which was defined as no sustained 10-minute periods of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during a week. Researchers
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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