ATLANTA, Feb. 19, 2009 – A new study released today found blacks remain less likely than whites to undergo total knee replacement, an important intervention for reducing pain and improving physical function among those with disabling knee osteoarthritis. The study also found total knee replacements are increasing substantially in both populations. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the research underscores the need for healthcare providers and people of all races to take proactive measures in preventing and managing the disease.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, used Medicare claims data from 2000 to 2006 to estimate the national and state-specific total knee replacements for blacks and whites among U.S. adults aged 65 and older.
Tips for Reducing Knee Pain:
To reduce the pain and disability of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends the following:
* Understand the myth about physical activity and arthritis. Many people think that physical activity can worsen arthritis pain. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Done appropriately, physical activity can help decrease symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. In addition, physical activity is an important component of weight control and helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. For joint-safe exercise programs, try the Arthritis Foundation's Life Improvement Series land or water exercise programs offered at more than 1,700 locations nationwide.
* Control weight. For those already living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half. Maintaining a healthy weight also can lower a person's risk of osteoarthritis. In fact, one study showed that women who lost as little as 11 pounds halved their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis and its accompanying joint pain.
* Discover techniques to manage your arthritis. Participate in the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program, a self-management course that teaches people with arthritis how to manage the pain and challenges that arthritis imposes. The course has been shown to lead to a 40 percent reduction in pain.
* Learn more. Contact your local Arthritis Foundation office or visit www.arthritis.org to learn more about programs offered in your area and to order free educational materials, including literature on arthritis in African Americans. For more actions you can take, visit take control of osteoarthritis (arthritis.org/prevent-osteoarthritis) to get started. ###
About the Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.
The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $400 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or www.arthritis.org.
1 "Weight Loss Reduces the Risk for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis in Women," David T. Felson, MD, MPH; Yuqing Zhang, MB, MPH; John M. Anthony, BA, BS; Allen Naimark, MD; and Jennifer J. Anderson, PhD, Annals of Internal Medicine, 1992; 116:535 539].
Contact: Carol Galbreath firstname.lastname@example.org 404-965-7594 Arthritis Foundation