Step rate linked with knee cartilage damage in women

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step rate, cartilage, arthritis magazine, arthritis digest, arthritis informationWomen with a lower baseline step rate seem to be more likely to have cartilage damage in the knee than women with a higher baseline step rate, says new evidence presented at an international conference.

Over 1,000 volunteers with osteoarthritis or at risk of it (aged 50 to 79 years) had their step rate assessed. Age, body mass index, previous knee injury and surgery and gait speed were taken into account.

Two years later, women with the lowest step rates had twice as much cartilage damage in the knee than women with the highest step rates. The results for men were inconsistent.

“You can take more steps per minute without changing gait speed,” explains study author Dr Harvi Hart. “As for the clinical implications of this study, step rate can be easily modified with exercise therapy, music or metronome.”

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