'Oh, My Aching Knees'? Screen for Prediabetes

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


December 20, 2018

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a primary care internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Medscape Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

The CDC reports that 32% of adults with prediabetes have arthritis. That's an estimated 26 million people. This link was found in data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It covered over 10,000 adults from 2009 to 2016. They also found that about half of the adults with both arthritis and prediabetes were physically inactive or obese.

This is important because we know that arthritis prevents people from exercising. And our patients with prediabetes need to exercise, and some may need to lose weight to prevent progressing to diabetes.

What does this mean for clinicians? In patients with arthritis, use evidence-based arthritis interventions and screen for prediabetes. Consider referrals to the National Diabetes Prevention Program or other programs, like EnhanceFitness, Walk with Ease, Active Living Every Day, or tai chi. The National Recreation and Parks Association and the YMCA also have programs. Information is available online for locations near you.

By helping patients increase their physical activity and lose weight, they may reduce their risk for diabetes and reduce their pain from the arthritis—a win-win situation.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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