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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sustained maintenance of exercise induced muscle strength gains and normal bone mineral density in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: a 5 year follow up.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate at 5 years whether an initial 2 year home based strength training period imposes sustained effects on muscle strength, bone mineral density (BMD), structural joint damage, and on disease activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis ( RA). METHODS: Seventy patients were randomised either to perform home based strength training with loads of 50-70% of repetition maximum (EG) or range of motion exercises (CG). Both groups were encouraged to take part in aerobic activities 2-3 times a week. Maximal muscle strength of different muscle groups was measured by dynamometers, and BMD at the femoral neck and lumbar spine by dual x ray densitometry. Disease activity was assessed by the 28 joint disease activity score, and joint damage by x ray findings. RESULTS: 62 patients completed 2 years' training and 59 patients attended check up at 5 years. Mean (SD) maximum muscle strength indices increased from baseline to 2 years-in EG from 212 (78) kg by a mean (95% CI) of 68 (55 to 80) and in CG from 195 (72) kg by 35 (13 to 60) kg-and remained at that level for the next 3 years. Development of BMD in EG tended to be more favourable than that in CG. Muscle strength training was not detrimental to joint structures or disease activity. CONCLUSION: The patients' exercise induced muscle strength gains during a 2 year training period were maintained throughout a subsequent self monitored training period of 3 years. Despite substantial training effects in muscle strength, BMD values remained relatively constant. Radiographic damage remained low even at 5 years.[1]


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