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Jennifer M. Hootman, Shannon FitzGerald, Carol A. Macera and Steven N. Blair

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the gender-specific longitudinal association between quadriceps strength and self-reported, physician-diagnosed hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods:

Subjects were 3081 community-dwelling adults who were free of OA, joint symptoms and injuries, completed a maximum treadmill exercise test, had isokinetic knee extension and flexion and isotonic leg press strength measurements taken at baseline and returned at least one written follow-up survey. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results:

Women with moderate or high isokinetic quadriceps strength had a significantly reduced risk (55% to 64%) of hip or knee OA. A similar, nonsignificant trend was noted among men. Moderate isotonic leg press strength was protective for hip or knee osteoarthritis among men only.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that quadriceps weakness is an independent and modifiable risk factor for lower extremity OA, particularly among women.

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M. Elaine Cress, David M. Buchner, Thomas Prohaska, James Rimmer, Marybeth Brown, Carol Macera, Loretta DiPietro and Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

Physical activity offers one of the greatest opportunities for people to extend years of active independent life and reduce functional limitations. The article identifies key practices for promoting physical activity in older adults, with a focus on those with chronic disease or low fitness and those with low levels of physical activity. Key practices identified: (a) A multidimensional activity program that includes endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training is optimal for health and functional benefits; (b) principles of behavior change including social support, self-efficacy, active choices, health contracts, assurances of safety, and positive reinforcement enhance adherence; (c) manage risk by beginning at low intensity but gradually increasing to moderate physical activity, which has a better risk:benefit ratio and should be the goal for older adults; (d) an emergency procedure plan is prudent for community-based programs; and (e) monitoring aerobic intensity is important for progression and motivation. Selected content review of physical activity programming from major organizations and institutions is provided.