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Osteoarthritis and Obesity Can Shave 3.5 Years of Healthy Life

Posted Mar 29 2011 9:00am
Harvard Medical School conducted a study that showed that close to 40% of elderly Americans are obese or have osteoarthritis of the knee, or both, which, on average, eliminates 3.5 years of a positive quality of life.

Researchers found that about 33% are obese and do not have osteoarthritis—and can lose almost 2.5 healthy, pain-free life-years. People with osteoarthritis who are not obese (3.3%) are expected to lose 1.9 years of good health. About 3.3% of seniors who are obese and have knee osteoarthritis are projected to experience 3.5 fewer years of pain-free, good health.

Researchers noted that telling people to lose weight didn't work until you couched it around lifespan. In other words, your lifespan will be 3.5 years longer if you were not obese and had osteoarthritis.
In my keynote, The Meaning of Life, I talk about eight traits that people who live long, quality lives have and for each trait there is a corresponding number of years added to their life. This is the glass half full model!
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