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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Feb 27;58(7):165-9.

Arthritis as a potential barrier to physical activity among adults with heart disease--United States, 2005 and 2007.


Being physically active is an important component of heart disease (HD) management; however patients with HD are less likely to comply with physical activity recommendations than those without HD. Arthritis is a common comorbidity among persons with HD, and arthritis-associated joint pain and fear of further joint damage can be an unrecognized barrier to physical activity among persons with HD (CDC, unpublished data, 2008). To provide estimates of the magnitude of this problem at the state level, CDC combined 2005 and 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data to estimate overall and age- and sex-specific prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis among adults aged >/=18 years with self-reported HD, and the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with HD by arthritis status. The results indicated that, for these 2 years combined, arthritis affected 57.4% of adults with HD, compared with 27.4% of adults in the general population. Among adults with HD, the likelihood of physical inactivity was 30% greater compared with that of persons with HD but without arthritis, when adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education level, and body mass index (BMI) (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3). These results suggest that arthritis might be an additional barrier to increased physical activity among persons with HD. 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 HD.

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