FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bigger Risks for Littler People
Low Stature and the Risk of Osteoarthritis Are Related
Clearwater, Florida – “Short people got no reason to live,” according to songwriter Randy Newman’s comic tune. A study by a Clearwater, FL research organization suggests that “height-challenged” people should also worry more about creaky joints and aching knees as they age than their taller counterparts.
Fifty percent of short women showed signs of hand osteoarthritis, while only 35 percent of tall women had signs of the disease. Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” form of arthritis that affects 27 million Americans after the age of 50. Over 3500 persons were “sized up” for this study. For both men and women, an increased chance of having osteoarthritis in the neck, hands, knees and feet was found among the subjects with the shortest height.
“We’re just beginning to assess why shorter people have a higher chance of this disease and, unfortunately, we can’t do anything about our height,” said Frances Vaughn Wilder, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and executive director at The Arthritis Research Institute of America (ARIA). “But knowing that they have a higher risk for osteoarthritis can help these people take an active part in managing the risk factors they can control.”
A consistent exercise plan and sound nutrition have been shown to play a role in decreasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Avoiding activities that may lead to joint injuries is another good step. Some of ARIA’s other research findings suggest that joints which have been injured have a much higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.
ARIA’s study that links height and the chance of osteoarthritis was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Musculoskeletal Research. ARIA has been studying osteoarthritis since 1988. With Dr. Wilder, the paper’s co-authors were Paul E. Leaverton, Ph.D and Matthew Rogers, MS. Dr. Leaverton, Professor Emeritus, is the former chairman of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of South Florida. Mr. Rogers is a doctoral candidate and ARIA’s Director of Exercise.
Since 1988, the Arthritis Research Institute of America (ARIA) has been studying thousands of participants to learn more about osteoarthritis. The 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit research organization is based in Clearwater, FL., but its findings have been published worldwide. ARIA’s x-ray database is globally acknowledged as one of the most complete sources of information about the progression of osteoarthritis. For information, call (727) 461-4054.
Michele M. Barrett
300 S Duncan Ave
Clearwater, FL 33755