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September is Healthy Aging Month
Date:9/10/2007

Painful Joints: An 'Unspoken' Barrier To Combating Chronic Health

Conditions For African-Americans

Medical Experts Say Early Intervention is Key

WARSAW, Ind., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The statistics are alarming:

-- One in four African-American women over 55 years of age has

diabetes(1).

-- African-Americans have higher death rates for coronary heart disease

(CHD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke(2).

-- The prevalence of high blood pressure among African-Americans is among

the highest in the world(3).

-- There is an estimate that 80% of black women and 60% of black men are

overweight or obese (which contributes to heart disease, certain

cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes among other chronic health

conditions)(4).

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070910/AQM271LOGO)

Keeping weight under control plays a critical role in managing these health issues. However, many African-Americans face a major hurdle: they are living with chronic joint pain.

"Every warning from governmental and non-profit health organizations implores our community to "get moving" because of the positive impact it has on combating these conditions," explains Dr. Charles Nelson, Orthopedic Section Chair, National Medical Association and Zimmer National Speakers Bureau participant. "But we have failed to make the direct link between painful movement and poor health."

A November 2006 Centers For Disease Control (CDC) report revealed that the knee is the joint that causes the most pain(5). Additionally, the CDC reported that African-Americans cite arthritis as the leading condition that limits their daily activities. Arthritis is the third most common problem among African-Americans(6), and arthritis-attributable work limitation dis
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SOURCE Zimmer
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