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Trying to Manage Heart Disease Through Physical Activity? Arthritis May Create Challenges.

Joint friendly activities and available arthritis-specific exercise programs may help increase physical activity, which will help control both heart disease and arthritis.

Chart: Physical Inactivity by Disease Status, United States. 2005 and 2007

A new CDC study shows that arthritis may be an unrecognized barrier for adults with heart disease attempting to manage their condition through physical activity; 29% of people with both conditions are physically inactive compared to 21% with heart disease alone. The study found that the combination of heart disease and arthritis is not uncommon; 57% of adults with heart disease also have arthritis. Inactive persons with heart disease who increase activity benefit from improved physical func­tion and lowered blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

Adults with heart disease who also have arthritis have unique barriers for physical activity, such as concerns about pain, or aggravating and worsening their arthritis symptoms. Engaging in joint friendly activities, such as walking, swimming, or biking and participating in available arthritis-specific exercise programs may help people with both conditions to be more physically active, which will help control both heart disease and arthritis. More information on joint friendly exercise programs is available.

Data Source:

Bolen J, Murphy L, Greenlund K, Helmick CG, Hootman J, Brady TJ, Langmaid G, Keenan N. Arthritis as a Potential Barrier to Physical Activity Among Adults With Heart Disease — United States, 2005 and 2007. MMWR 2009;58(7):165-169.

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