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Leigh Callahan, PhD, is a co-author on the first research paper to quantify — on a state-by-state basis — the number of physically inactive people with arthritis who could reduce their anxiety and depression through exercise. The study showed that more than 3 million people could benefit from exercise, and provides particularly useful insights when the data are broken down to a state level.

One innovative aspect of the study was that it took advantage of existing ‘number‐needed‐to‐treat data’ from previous meta‐analyses, state‐level data on the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) as well as physical inactivity, and U.S. Census population data to derive state‐level estimates regarding the number of physically inactive adults in the United States with arthritis and other RMDs who could improve their anxiety and depression by exercising.

The study was conducted by George Kelley, DA, a Professor with West Virginia University (WVU); and Leigh Callahan, PhD, Associate Director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine.

You can read more about the study in ACR Open Rheumatology, as well as an interview with Dr. Kelley regarding their findings, which was published in MedPage Today.