Arthritis

Updated 06 February 2016

Obesity, exercising and arthritis

Women who are overweight and don't exercise are at a higher risk of developing arthritis.

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Higher levels of obesity and inactivity, especially among women, explain why arthritis is more common in the United States than in Canada, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Toronto Western Research Institute analyzed 2002-03 data from both countries and found that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States was 18.7 percent and the prevalence of arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAL) was 9.6 percent. In Canada, the rates were 16.8 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.

Women in the United States had a higher prevalence of arthritis (23.3 percent) and AAL (13 percent) than Canadian women (19.6 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively). Men in both countries had similar rates of arthritis (14 percent) and AAL (6 percent).

"Our study results suggest that the higher prevalence of arthritis and AAL in the U.S. may be a consequence of greater obesity and physical inactivity in that country, particularly in women," study lead author Elizabeth Badley said in a news release.

"Public health initiatives that promote healthy weight and physical activity may benefit from including arthritis concerns to its message, and could potentially reduce the incidence of arthritis and AAL," she concluded.

Source: Arthritis Care & Research.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about arthritis.

Read more:

Easy exercises you can do at home

Exercise key to a healthy heart

 

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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