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Does sports activity increase the risk of OA?

Does sports activity increase the risk of OA?

Researchers have long recognized an association between serious sports injury and the increased risk of osteoarthritis (OA). But little has been known about the contribution of sports activity - barring injury - to the occurrence of OA. David Felson, MD, and his colleagues at the Boston University Arthritis Center in Boston looked at this question in a recent study.

The Boston researchers examined a group of 583 men between the ages of 63 and 93 for osteoarthritis of the knee. They interviewed this group about their sports activity and asked about any history of knee injury. (The number of women of that age who had participated in organized sports was too low to be evaluated.) After statistically excluding such influencing factors as age, weight or prior knee injury, the researchers compared the rate of OA in sports participants to the rate of OA in non-participants. The results of the study indicated that, aside from major knee injury, there was no increased risk of OA among those who had participated in such organized sports as football, basketball, swimming or running.

Dr. Felson, however, is careful to note the limitations of the study. "These men are from an older generation," he says. "They participated in sports only during their teenage or college years and didn't sustain their activity later in life. The true test of these results will come when we study the current fitness-oriented generation after they've aged."

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Title Annotation:osteoarthritis
Publication:Arthritis Today
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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