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Low Walking Frequency Linked to Higher Risk of Early Death in People with Osteoarthritis

Previous research suggests that people with osteoarthritis may have twice the risk of early death and more than three times the risk of cardiovascular death compared to people who don’t have osteoarthritis. A new study looked at the mechanisms behind this increased risk and found that the strongest association between osteoarthritis and early death was in people who do not walk enough.

Participants in the study included 10,415 people aged 50 or over who took part in the North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis Project. All had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and were followed for an average of 10 years. The researchers tracked mortality rates and looked at confounding factors that might affect mortality

The researchers found that people with osteoarthritis had an 11% higher risk of early death compared to those without osteoarthritis. When they looked at confounding factors, they found that the highest risk was seen in people with low walking frequency. Approximately 62% participants reported low walking frequency, despite the fact that 65% of all participants reported little to no limitation walking. The next highest risk was found in people with depression, anxiety, or unrefreshed sleep.

The study was conducted by researchers from Keele University. It was published online ahead of print on November 13, 2019 in the journal Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Diseases.

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