Arthritis Restricts Exercise in Heart Disease Patients

Those with both conditions 30 percent more likely to be inactive

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Heart disease patients who also have arthritis are significantly less likely to engage in physical activity than those without arthritis, according to a report published in the Feb. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Julie Bolen, Ph.D., of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues used data on 757,959 respondents to the 2005 and 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the prevalence of arthritis among adults with heart disease as well as the prevalence of physical activity among heart disease patients with and without arthritis.

Among individuals with heart disease, 57.4 percent also had arthritis, versus 27.4 percent of the general population, the researchers report. Heart disease patients who also had arthritis were 30 percent more likely than their counterparts without arthritis to be physically inactive, regardless of age, sex, education level and body mass index, the investigators found.

"These results suggest that arthritis might be an additional barrier to increased physical activity among persons with heart disease," the authors write. "Health care providers and public health agencies should consider addressing this barrier with arthritis-specific or general evidence-based self-management education and exercise programs for their patients with arthritis and heart disease."

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