OA Should be Treated like the Chronic Disease it Is


Despite being a chronic condition, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis isn’t treated as such, says Joanne M. Jordan, MD, professor at the University of North Carolina and director of the university’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center.
“We measure people’s blood pressure, hoping they won’t get a stroke, or you measure someone’s cholesterol hoping you can make a change to prevent that heart attack,” she says. “Well we feel osteoarthritis needs to start being looked at in the same way, that you start assessing joint health early.”
Jordan also explains her work on a 20-year-old study that was initially designed to gain a better understanding about how common osteoarthritis is in the African American community. In the beginning of the study, the researchers discovered that the joints affected in African Americans may be different than those in whites.

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