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Study: In adults with arthritis, the middle-aged fall and get injured as much as the elderly

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Falls are just as much of a problem for middle-aged adults with arthritis as they are for older people, a new government study shows.

In a telephone survey, about a third of adults 65 and older with arthritis said they had taken a tumble in the last year. But slightly more of those aged 45 to 64 reported falling.

More of the middle-aged group reported being injured from falls; 17 per cent compared to 12 per cent in the older group.

Thursday's report was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About half of Americans 65 and older complain of arthritis symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. Nearly a third of middle-aged people have arthritis. The number of has been growing, mostly because of overweight baby boomers.

Arthritis can make it harder to balance and it can sap lower-body strength, contributing to falls. Walking and moderate physical exercise is recommended for those with arthritis to keep symptoms from getting worse, said the CDC's Kamil Barbour, the study's lead author.

The report is based on a 2012 survey of 339,000 people ages 45 and older.

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Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

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