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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Sep;66(9):1328-36. doi: 10.1002/acr.22362.

Daily walking and the risk of incident functional limitation in knee osteoarthritis: an observational study.

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  • 1Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Physical activity is recommended to mitigate functional limitations associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, it is unclear whether walking on its own protects against the development of functional limitation.

METHODS:

Walking over 7 days was objectively measured as steps/day within a cohort of people with or at risk of knee OA from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Incident functional limitation over 2 years was defined by performance-based (gait speed <1.0 meter/second) and self-report (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index physical function score >28 of 68) measures. We evaluated the association of steps/day at baseline with developing functional limitation 2 years later by calculating risk ratios adjusted for potential confounders. The number of steps/day that best distinguished risk for developing functional limitation was estimated from the maximum distance from chance on receiver operating characteristic curves.

RESULTS:

Among 1,788 participants (mean age 67 years, mean body mass index 31 kg/m(2) , 60% women), each additional 1,000 steps/day was associated with a 16% and 18% reduction in incident functional limitation by performance-based and self-report measures, respectively. Walking <6,000 and <5,900 steps/day were the best thresholds to distinguish incident functional limitation by performance-based (sensitivity 67.3%, specificity 71.8%) and self-report (sensitivity 58.7%, specificity 68.9%) measures, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

More walking was associated with less risk of functional limitation over 2 years. Walking >6,000 steps/day provides a preliminary estimate of the level of walking activity to protect against developing functional limitation in people with or at risk of knee OA.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Comment in

PMID:
24923633
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4146701
[Available on 2015-09-01]
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