Arthritis, obesity make each other worse

May 19, 2011 at 9:44 PM
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ATLANTA, May 19 (UPI) -- When arthritis and obesity occur together they can create a barrier to physical activity, each condition helping make the other worse, U.S. officials say.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, used data from 2007 to 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System that found the prevalence of arthritis among obese U.S. adults was 36 percent.

"Obese adults with arthritis were 44 percent more likely to be physically inactive compared with obese adults without arthritis," the report says. "In every state, the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with obesity was at least 5 percentage points higher among those with arthritis than those without arthritis."

CDC health officials say low impact activities such as walking, swimming and biking are appropriate for obese adults with arthritis and can result in both weight and pain reduction.

"In addition, evidence-based physical activity arthritis programs are offered in many communities," CDC officials advise.

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