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Arthritis hinders physical activity for adults with heart disease
Date:2/26/2009

ATLANTA, Feb. 26, 2009 Arthritis affects more than half of adults with heart disease and appears to be a substantial barrier to utilizing physical activity to help manage their condition, according to a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the Arthritis Foundation, the study underscores the importance of physical activity in effective management for adults with both arthritis and heart disease.

The study is one of the first of its kind to look at the relationship between arthritis and heart disease, and the probable effect of arthritis on physical activity among those with heart disease. The study found that arthritis affected 57 percent of adults with heart disease. Further, people with both diseases were more likely to be physically inactive (29 percent), in contrast to those with heart disease alone (21percent). Adults with heart disease who are sedentary due to arthritis pain are not benefiting from physical activity that has been shown to help manage both diseases.

"People with arthritis often fear physical activity will worsen their pain and that's a major myth," said Patience White, MD, MA, chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation. "However, just 30 minutes of daily physical activity has been shown to reduce arthritis pain and disability and help manage heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol."

Arthritis is not only a common comorbidity for adults with heart disease. A recent study released by the CDC in May 2008 found that more than half of adults with diagnosed diabetes also had arthritis, and those affected by both had higher levels of physical inactivity that hindered the successful management of both diseases.

"Engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce arthritis pain and improve joint function, which in turn can help people get more active and be
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Contact: Carol Galbreath
cgalbreath@arthritis.org
404-965-7595
Arthritis Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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