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University of Iowa News Release

June 30, 2003

Men And Women Invited To Join UI Study On Knee Arthritis

The University of Iowa Preventive Intervention Center, in the College of Public Health, is beginning a study about how lifestyle factors affect knee pain and osteoarthritis.

The study, called MOST (Multi-center Osteoarthritis Study) is being conducted at the UI and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

For study participants, MOST will last two-and-a-half years. No medications or treatments will be used, and participants may continue all medications they are currently taking. The study will involve tests and measurements to evaluate knee pain and observe the development or progression of osteoarthritis.

Men and women, ages 50 to 79, are invited to participate in this study. It is not necessary to have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis to qualify for this study, but participants must not have rheumatoid arthritis or have had knee replacement surgery on both knees.

The study will consist of two to four clinic visits over a two-and-a-half-year period. All participants will attend a visit at the beginning and the end of the study. Researchers will contact participants by telephone 15 months into the study to gather information about new knee pain. If a participant has new knee pain, he/she will be asked to make a clinic visit. In addition to laboratory tests and other physical tests, study visits will include knee x-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans and a bone density measurement.

Arthritis causes pain and loss of movement and can affect joints in any part of the body. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage begins to fray, wear and decay. In some cases, all of the cartilage may wear away between the bones of the joint, leaving bones that rub against each other. Symptoms range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to severe joint pain.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 20 million Americans. Nearly half of all people age 65 and older are affected by the disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in adults, mostly due to arthritis of the knee. Knee osteoarthritis affects both men and women.

For more information about participating in MOST, call 319-384-5055 or toll free 800-348-4692.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,