More Than 5o Percent of Diabetic American Adult Has Arthritis

May 8, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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As revealed by a new government report, more than half of diabetic American adult has arthritis too. This is the case especially in older adults (65 years old and above) who have diabetes.

In diabetes, lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and exercise regimen is critical in the management of diabetes. But then in these older adults, they are not able to exercise because they have arthritis too.

From The Washington Post:

Arthritis strikes more than half of the 20.6 million American adults who have diabetes, and the painful joint condition may be a barrier to exercise among these patients, a new government report shows.

Being physically active helps people manage both diseases better by controlling blood sugar levels and reducing joint pain, according to the report in the May 9 issue ofMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation:

“The prevalence of arthritis is astoundingly high in people with diabetes. Over half the people with diabetes have arthritis.

Although there appears to be a connection between arthritis and diabetes, the reason for it isn’t known. A possible explanation is obesity, which is a risk factor for both osteoarthritis and diabetes.

In addition, those individuals who have diabetes and arthritis are less physically active. We know that physical activity is critically important for the control of diabetes, both for the control of blood glucose and the prevention of complications.”

Obesity and exercise are critical factors not only in diabetes, but in arthritis too. The more an individual is sedentary, the more you are obese. The more one is obese, the more is the risk in developing diabetes. If you are in your 60’s and have all these conditions, it is no wonder if you have arthritis too. I mean, being obese is enough to take a toll on our joints (especially the knees).

As what CDC researchers found using the data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System:

  • 29.8 percent of people with both diseases were more likely to be inactive, compared with 21 percent of those who only have diabetes, 17.3 percent of those with arthritis alone, and 10.9 percent of those with neither condition.
  • For people who suffer from both diabetes and arthritis, arthritis appears to be a barrier to being physically active.
  • But being physically active by doing aerobic exercise, strength training, walking, swimming or biking can benefit people with both diseases.

But if we come to think of it, not everyone in their 60s are so keen into strength training or biking.

Hmmm…the more I am convinced that Tai Chi is really beneficial to people of all ages, with or without arthritis.

Read more from The Washington Post.

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