American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting

American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting

October 29, 2013
1 min read

Increasing exercise in patients with osteoarthritis leads to longer, higher quality of life

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

SAN DIEGO — Patients with knee osteoarthritis who meet the Department of Health and Human Services established guidelines for exercise each week are more likely to have better quality-adjusted life-years than patients who do not meet the guidelines, according to a presentation at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.

"Regular physical activity improves health and reduces mortality in the general population. Furthermore, physical activity promotes arthritis-specific health benefits, including improving symptoms, function and psychosocial outcomes, as well as reduced disability," Kai Sun, MD, a medical resident and research trainee at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, stated in a press release. "Despite these benefits, the majority of adults in the United States do not attain the recommended amounts of physical activity."

Sun and colleagues measured the physical activity data of more than 4,700 adults with knee osteoarthritis in the Osteoarthritis Initiative and divided the patients into groups based on the Department of Health and Human Services established guidelines for exercise. Patients who met the guidelines of more than 150 minutes of exercise per week in 10-minute intervals were placed in one group, while the researchers separated other patients into a group for less than 150 minutes of activity per week (insufficiently active) and a group for exercise at less than 10-minute intervals (inactive).

Patients who moved from insufficiently active to active or inactive to insufficiently active groups had a gain of 0.08 quality-adjusted life-years (QALY). The patients continued to show these results after Sun and colleagues adjusted for socioeconomic and clinic or health factors. Using a $50,000 cutoff for QALY gained, the researchers estimated that medical intervention costing $1,400 or less would be cost-effective if it resulted in increased physical activity in these patients.

"The costs associated with the treatment of inactivity-related diseases and injuries, lost productivity and diminished quality of life poses an economic burden. Therefore, promoting physical activity is an important component in promoting overall health, addressing the epidemic of obesity and other chronic illnesses, and reducing health care costs in the long term," Sun stated.


Sun K. Abstract #778. Presented at: the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting; Oct. 26-30, San Diego.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.