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For Release:  May 20, 2008
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
Oklahoma State Department of Health
405/271-5601

CDC Study Says Arthritis May be Barrier for Adults Managing Diabetes through Exercise

May is Arthritis Month

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study shows that 55.5 percent of Oklahoma adults with diagnosed diabetes also have arthritis, a painful condition that may be a barrier to physical activity, an important part of diabetes management.

In Oklahoma, 812,000 adults have arthritis, and 277,500 adults have diabetes. Fifty-five percent of adults in Oklahoma have both conditions.  Research shows that engaging in joint-friendly activities such as walking, swimming, biking, and participating in arthritis-specific exercise programs can help manage both conditions. For people with diabetes, physical activity helps control blood glucose and risk factors for complications. For people with arthritis, physical activity reduces pain, improves function, and delays disability.

“Among people with diabetes, the high frequency of arthritis appears to be an under recognized barrier to increasing physical activity. Engaging in joint-friendly activities, such as walking, swimming, biking and participating in available arthritis-specific exercise programs may help people with both conditions be more physically active, ” said Secretary of Health and State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. For more information on joint-friendly exercise programs, visit CDC’s Arthritis website at http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/intervention.

The study, “Arthritis as a Potential Barrier to Physical Activity among Adults with Diabetes: 50 States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2005 and 2007,”analyzed data on the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with arthritis and diabetes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

Nationally, the prevalence of arthritis among adults with diabetes was 52 percent. The prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with both arthritis and diabetes (28.9 percent) was considerably higher than that among adults who have diabetes alone (21.0 percent). Thestudy also found that the percentage of adults with diabetes and arthritis who are physically inactive varied among states ranging from 20.2 percent in California to 46.4 percent in

Tennessee.  In Oklahoma, 34.1 percent adults have diabetes and arthritis and are also physically inactive.  

Adults with arthritis have unique barriers to being physically active such as concerns about pain, aggravating or worsening joint damage, and not knowing how much or what types of physical activity are safe for them. Disease self-management classes, including exercise programs that address arthritis-specific barriers, may help adults with diabetes become more active. Programs proven to be effective in managing arthritis, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, the Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program, EnhanceFitness, and Active Living Every Day, are available in many local communities nationwide. To find a program near you, view this Web site http://apep.health.ok.gov and look under "Arthritis Programs (Evidence-Based).” Individual locations must be contacted for specific dates and times of classes.  

To learn more about local efforts to address arthritis, call (405) 271-9444, ext. 56410.  For more information about CDC’s arthritis program, view http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis.  To learn more about CDC’s diabetes program, view http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes.

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