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Arthritis news

Created date

September 20th, 2011

Rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease

A study recently published in Arthritis Research & Therapyfound that the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be responsible for an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, especially in the presence of other heart disease risk factors. Researchers in Sweden analyzed data from 400 RA sufferers and found that the onset of a new cardiovascular problem such as heart disease or stroke could be predicted by the severity of their RA along with factors such as having diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased blood triglyceride levels. Medications that slow the rate of joint damage (the most common ismethotrexate) may reduce this risk, along with treatment of other heart disease risk factors.

Osteoarthritis and physical activity

Despite their doctor s advice and emerging research, people with osteoarthritis still won t exercise. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine researchers asked arthritis sufferers to wear devices similar to pedometers that measure physical activity. Over 50% of women and 40% of men were classified as inactive: During a one-week period, they failed to engage in one ten-minute period of moderate to vigorous activity. Approximately 20 minutes per day of moderate-intensity, low-impact exercise can help people with arthritis decrease pain and improve function. Good activities are a brisk walk, swimming, or water aerobics. Some studies show that these can minimize or even prevent disability.

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