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NEW STUDY FINDS HIGHER RATES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS AMONG RURAL, BLACK POPULATIONS

 NEW STUDY FINDS HIGHER RATES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
 AMONG RURAL, BLACK POPULATIONS
 ATLANTA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arthritis Foundation is concerned about higher than expected X-ray evidence of hip and knee osteoarthritis in rural areas, especially in hips among blacks, found in preliminary results from a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
 The same study also strengthened evidence for the link between obesity and osteoarthritis.
 The study of 421 residents of rural Johnson County, N.C., found much higher rates of osteoarthritis for both whites and blacks than in a similar national survey. X-rays showed rates for hip osteoarthritis that were at least seven times higher than the national rates, while rates for knee osteoarthritis were four times higher. Blacks were more likely than whites in this sample to have higher rates for hip osteoarthritis. Reports of hip and knee pain were also higher and were linked with obesity. Obesity was also linked with more disability.
 "This study indicates that disability from osteoarthritis may have been underestimated in past studies, and confirms results of earlier research linking obesity with knee osteoarthritis," said Arthur Grayzel, M.D., the Arthritis Foundation's senior vice president for medical affairs.
 A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina Thurston Arthritis Research Center conducted the study and reported results Monday in Atlanta at the national scientific meetings of the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Health Professions Association, the health professional section of the Arthritis Foundation.
 Researchers noted that while these were early results on a smaller sample than other community and national surveys, they did not expect the differences to disappear when more people are included in the study. They are planning to look at other factors, such as physical activity, occupation, and education, to help explain the disparity of rates for rural residents and blacks in the study. Previous studies of hip osteoarthritis have shown lower rates among black populations in other parts of the world. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 15.8 million Americans.
 For free information about osteoarthritis, contact a local Arthritis Foundation chapter or call toll-free the Arthritis Foundation Information Line at 800-283-7800. The Arthritis Foundation is the source of help and hope for an estimated 37 million Americans who have arthritis. The foundation supports research to find ways to cure and prevent arthritis and seeks to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis.
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Dennis Bowman of the Arthritis Foundation, 404-872-7100 or, home, 404-279-9563/ CO: The Arthritis Foundation ST: Georgia IN: SU:


EA-BN -- ATFNS1 -- 9079 10/13/92 07:31 EDT
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Date:Oct 13, 1992
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