In The News: June 2018
Hip Replacement May Increase Lifespan
When pain and disability from hip osteoarthritis seriously impair the ability to function, many people have hip replacement surgery. This has been shown to effectively restore mobility and reduce pain. A study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (February 2018) found that it also may increase life expectancy. The researchers analyzed data on about 132,000 people who underwent hip replacement surgery in Sweden from 1999 to 2012. Compared to people of similar age and sex in the general population, those who had the surgery had improved survival rates, at least initially. After one year, survival was 1 percent greater among those who had the surgery, which increased to 3 percent at five years. By 12 years, there was no difference. The increased survival rates were significant mostly among those who had hip replacement due to osteoarthritis, which accounted for about 91 percent of all surgeries.
Eat More Slowly to Avoid Obesity
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, what you eat matters. According to a study published in the journal BMJ Open (February 2018), how you eat may also make a difference. The study included over 59,000 Japanese men and women who had type 2 diabetes. At health check-ups over six years, data were collected on their weight and waist circumference, and they answered questionnaires about lifestyle habits, including how fast they ate. Compared with slow eaters, those who reported eating fast were 42 percent more likely to have a body mass index of 25 or more (making them overweight or obese). Those who ate at a normal speed were 29 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. Other findings showed that people were less likely to be overweight or obese if they did not go to sleep within two hours of eating or snacked after dinner.
Tai Chi May Ease Fibromyalgia Pain
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue and other symptoms. Standard treatment includes recommendations for exercise. A study published in the journal The BMJ (March 2018) evaluated the effectiveness of the mind-body practice of tai chi. For the study, 226 adults with fibromyalgia were divided into two groups. One group had 24 weeks of supervised aerobic exercise twice a week. The other group had 12 or 24 weeks of supervised tai chi, once or twice a week. People in the tai chi groups had greater improvements in symptom scores than those in the aerobic group, but it was not, overall, enough to be clinically significant. However, those doing the highest-intensity tai chi (twice weekly for 24 weeks) did have a significantly greater improvement. Tai chi was at least as effective as aerobic exercise, if not more so.
Knee Pain Increases Risk for Depression
Osteoarthritis, which is caused by the wearing down of cartilage (the cushioning material that covers the ends of bones) in joints, is common among older adults. The knee is particularly susceptible. Osteoarthritis commonly causes pain and stiffness and can impair mobility. New research shows that knee pain can also result in psychological symptoms. In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (March 2018), researchers examined the connection between knee pain and depression among 573 Japanese men and women who did not have depressive symptoms when the study began. After two years, close to 12 percent of participants developed depression, which was associated with knee pain and functional impairment. People with pain at night and those who had difficulty putting on socks or getting in and out of a car were two to three times more likely to be depressed.