Original research| Volume 97, ISSUE 1, P8-16, January 2016

Association Between Physical Therapy and Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Dyslipidemia Among Osteoarthritis Patients: A Nationwide Database Study

Published:August 21, 2015DOI:



      To provide empirical evidence on the effect of early physical therapy (PT) within the first year of osteoarthritis (OA) diagnosis on reduction in OA-related comorbidities in patients with OA.


      Retrospective cohort study.


      The study was conducted using a nationally representative sample of 1 million National Health Insurance enrollees.


      Newly diagnosed patients with OA (N=13,545). One-to-one propensity score matching was used to match patients who received PT within the first year of OA diagnosis (PT group; n=3403) with an equal number of patients with OA who did not receive PT (non-PT group).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The 4-year cumulative risk of comorbidities including coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal tract ulcer, and renal failure was estimated. A Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to identify the dose-response relation between the PT dosage and the risk of OA-related comorbidities.


      A total of 3403 patients (25.1%) received PT within the first year of OA diagnosis. The PT group had a significantly lower 4-year cumulative risk of dyslipidemia (P=.05) and a potentially lower 4-year cumulative risk of CAD (P=.09). After adjusting for other potential confounders, the Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that patients with OA who received a high PT dosage had a low risk of CAD and dyslipidemia.


      Patients with OA who received PT had a lower risk of OA-related comorbidities such as dyslipidemia or CAD.


      List of abbreviations:

      CAD (coronary artery disease), DM (diabetes mellitus), GI (gastrointestinal), ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases-Ninth Revision), NHI (National Health Insurance), NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), OA (osteoarthritis), PT (physical therapy)
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