Presenting the evidence for exercise, physical activity and health outcomes in arthritis will be the focus of an international conference on exercise and arthritis to be be held Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22 in the Millennium Regal Hotel in St. Louis.

The conference - the first of its kind - is titled "Health Promotion and Disability Prevention for Individuals and Populations Rheumatic Disease: Evidence for Exercise and Physical Activity" and will feature 30 international scientists and arthritis researchers.

The event is designed to bring together experts and researchers to explore what is known and what questions need to be answered about arthritis and exercise. Space for attendees at the scientific sessions is limited to about 150 people.

The conference is sponsored by Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MARRTC), which is headquartered at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The MARRTC is funded through a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

Cosponsoring the event is the American College of Rheumatology, the largest professional organization of health-care professionals in the field of rheumatology.

MARRTC researcher Marian Minor, Ph.D., P.T., is chair of the ACR planning committee for the event. MARRTC is a research center dedicated to arthritis rehabilitation. It is the only such federally funded center. The conference also is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and has received additional funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All the proceedings from the conference will be published. A summary of the event and individual papers will be published in the 2002 issues of Arthritis Care and Research, a scientific journal of the ACR.

The topics are:
Arthritis and Disability: Impact and Consequences
The Problems and Challenges of Inactivity
Biomechanical Considerations for Exercise
Exercise in the Presence of Rheumatic Disease
Evidence of Benefit of Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Arthritis
Innovate Approaches to Pain Management
Population Approach to Health Promotion/Disability Prevention Through Physical Activity

Session chairs include Edward Yelin, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco; Joseph Sneizek, M.D., MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Krebs, Ph.D., P.T., Massachusettes General Hospital; Rowland Chang, M.D., Northwestern University Medical School; Marian A. Minor, Ph.D., P.T., University of Missouri; Lawrence Bradley, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Robert Meenan, M.D., MPH, MBA, Boston University School of Public Health.

For more information on the conference, see the ACR webpage