Racial and ethnic differences in physical activity guidelines attainment among people at high risk of or having knee osteoarthritis

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Feb;65(2):195-202. doi: 10.1002/acr.21803.


Objective: This cross-sectional study examined racial/ethnic differences in meeting the 2008 United States Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines aerobic component (≥150 moderate-to-vigorous minutes/week in bouts of ≥10 minutes) among persons with or at risk of radiographic knee osteoarthritis (RKOA).

Methods: We evaluated African American versus white differences in guideline attainment using multiple logistic regression, adjusting for sociodemographic (age, sex, site, income, and education) and health factors (comorbidity, depressive symptoms, overweight/obesity, and knee pain). Our analyses included adults ages 49-84 years who participated in accelerometer monitoring at the Osteoarthritis Initiative 48-month visit (n = 1,142 with RKOA and n = 747 at risk of RKOA).

Results: Two percent of African Americans and 13.0% of whites met the guidelines. For adults with and at risk of RKOA, significantly lower rates of guidelines attainment among African Americans compared to whites were partially attenuated by health factor differences, particularly overweight/obesity and knee pain (with RKOA: adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.24, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.08-0.72; at risk of RKOA: OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.07-1.05).

Conclusion: Despite known benefits from physical activity, attainment of the physical activity guidelines among persons with and at risk of RKOA was low. African Americans were 72-76% less likely than whites to meet the guidelines. Culturally relevant interventions and environmental strategies in the African American community targeting overweight/obesity and knee pain may reduce future racial/ethnic differences in physical activity and improve health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / ethnology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*