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Race Affects Physical Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis

Blacks with knee OA considerably less likely than whites to meet physical activity guidelines

Race Affects Physical Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In persons with or at risk for radiographic knee osteoarthritis (RKOA), African-Americans are 72 to 76 percent less likely than whites to meet the 2008 United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Physical Activity Guidelines aerobic component, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

In an effort to evaluate racial differences in achieving the physical activity guideline recommendations, Jing Song, of Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 1,142 African-American and white patients with RKOA and 747 at risk of RKOA.

The researchers found that, overall, 2 percent of African-Americans and 13 percent of whites met the guidelines. Compared with white patients with or at risk for RKOA, African-Americans were significantly less likely to meet the physical activity stipulated by the guidelines (76 percent less likely for patients with RKOA and 72 percent less likely for those at risk of RKOA). These differences were affected by a higher rate of overweight/obesity and knee pain in African-American patients than in white patients.

"Despite benefits from physical activity, attainment of the 2008 DHHS Physical Activity Guidelines was low for all groups. African-Americans were even less likely than whites to meet the guidelines; this relationship held among persons with or at risk of RKOA," the authors write. "After controlling for differences in sociodemographics and health factors, substantial racial/ethnic differences remained. These disparities were partially mediated by differences in knee pain severity and obesity status."

The study was funded in part by Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.

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