Brisk walking may decrease TKR risk in OA



Encouraging patients with knee osteoarthritis to engage in brisk walking for at least 5 minutes per day pays big dividends in terms of reduced risk of total knee replacement, according to a new analysis of data from the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Osteoarthritis Initiative.

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Whether walking increases or decreases the risk of structural deterioration and total knee replacement (TKR) in patients with knee osteoarthritis has been a controversial topic marked by conflicting data. That’s probably because prior studies haven’t taken into account walking intensity, Hiral Master said at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

Ms. Master, a PhD candidate in physical therapy at the University of Delaware, Newark, presented a study of 1,854 patients with knee osteoarthritis who participated in the Osteoarthritis Initiative, all of whom had worn an accelerometer. This permitted calculation of time spent walking at various intensities. Subjects spent an average of 459 minutes per day not walking and 8 minutes walking at moderate to vigorous intensity, defined as a cadence of more than 100 steps per minute.

During 5 years of follow-up, the incidence of TKR was 6%. In this video interview, Ms. Master explains that patients who replaced 5 minutes of not walking with 5 minutes of brisk walking daily had an adjusted 14% reduction in the risk of TKR. A dose-response was evident, with more minutes of moderate to vigorous walking being associated with progressively larger reductions in the risk of this major surgery. Walking at a cadence of less than 100 steps per minute, regardless of duration, was nonprotective.

SOURCE: Master H et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018;70(Suppl 10), Abstract 1166.

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