Target physical activity and depression to reduce mortality in osteoarthritis

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depression arthritis, exercise arthritis, arthritis digest magazineLow walking frequency and depression may be associated with an increase in mortality in people with osteoarthritis, a UK research group has discovered.

Over 8,000 people were tracked for 10 years, during which 14% died. Those who had osteoarthritis were more likely to die than those who did not, even after taking into account depression, anxiety, not walking often, insomnia and obesity.

“We observed a 39.4% increase in mortality for participants with osteoarthritis,” Dr Simran Parmar explains.

Low walking frequency was another strongest mediator of osteoarthritis-associated mortality, followed by depression and cognitive impairment. But obesity had no impact.

“Low walking frequency, depression and cognitive impairment could be potential targets of therapy for osteoarthritis in primary care,” Dr Parmar concludes. “Encouraging physical activity and considering the impact of comorbidities can help reduce the risk of mortality in adults with osteoarthritis.”

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