Researchers at the National Institute onAging and the Johns Hopkins MedicalCenter studied mobility and arthritis inelderly women. They found that womenwho had osteoarthritis (OA) and wereobese were more likely to face debilitatingmobility problems and hindered activitiesof daily living (ADL) than women whowere not obese. They compared womenaged 70 to 79 years; 199 had lower-extremityOA and no mobility problems atthe beginning of the study, and 140 had noOA in the knees or hips. The women wereevaluated at 18, 36, and 72 months. Theones with OA were more likely to experiencepain, especially when walking andclimbing stairs. Of these women, 26%were obese, compared with 11% in thegroup who did not have OA. The investigatorsfound that the OA group was 2.5times more likely to have difficulty withADL and with lower-extremity mobility.The study results were published in theApril 2006 issue of Arthritis Care &Research.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.