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February 19, 2016

Joint Injury and OA in the Military 

Dear OAAA Members and Friends,
Arthritis is the second leading cause of discharge from the military, affecting one in four veterans. Post-traumatic arthritis develops in approximately half of all cases of traumatic joint injury. Research suggests that reasons for the increased prevalence of arthritis among military compared with non-military populations include stress placed on joints during military training activities, higher injury rates and increased weight of military packs.
Several efforts are underway to educate Congress and the general public about the substantial impact of arthritis on military personnel and veterans.
On February 10, OAAA member organizations, Arthritis Foundation and American College of Rheumatology, along with the American Osteopathic Association held a Congressional briefing on the epidemic of arthritis among US Military service members and veterans. Learn more about the Arthritis Foundation’s efforts to bring awareness and research funding to this important issue. Contact Anna Hyde for more information today!
February 17, the OA Action Alliance hosted a free Lunch & Learn webinar with Kenneth L. Cameron, PhD, MPH, ATC, on Acute Traumatic Join Injury and Osteoarthritis in Military Populations. The webinar recording and slides from Dr. Camerson’s presentation posted at the link above highlight not only the incidence and burden of OA in the military but also solutions for mitigating this impact.  
February 18, Dr. Cameron and the OA Action Alliance participated in this month’s #RheumChat co-hosted by @ACRSimpleTasks and @ArthritisFdn on #Arthritis in the Military, the #SilentEnemy. This lively twitter chat continued the ongoing conversation about the daily challenges active duty service personnel and veterans experience managing arthritis and the need for greater education, research and clinical care.
What can you do to help? Share this letter and the resources highlighted above with friends and family in the military and veterans you may know.  And share with your local Congresspeople to help them make informed decisions about research and resources for OA in the military. Education is the first step toward positive action!

The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance
More Information:
On the Front Lines Against Arthritis
Linking Arthritis to Old Injuries (New York Times)
Fund Arthritis Research at the Department of Defense (Arthritis Foundation)
A Silent Enemy: How Arthritis is Threatening the US Military (Arthritis Foundation)
Arthritis Help for Veterans (CDC)
OA Action Alliance | Thurston Arthritis Research Center | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill