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Association between childhood overweight measures and adulthood knee pain, stiffness and dysfunction: a 25-year cohort study


Antony, B and Jones, G and Venn, A and Cicuttini, F and March, L and Blizzard, L and Dwyer, T and Cross, M and Ding, C, Association between childhood overweight measures and adulthood knee pain, stiffness and dysfunction: a 25-year cohort study, ARD Online, 74, (4) pp. 711-717. ISSN 1468-2060 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 the authors.

DOI: doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204161


Objective To describe the associations between overweight measures in childhood and knee pain, stiffness and dysfunction among adults 25 years later. Methods Subjects broadly representative of the Australian population (n=449, aged 3141 years, female 48%) were selected from the Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey of 1985. Height, weight and knee injury were recorded and knee pain was assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC). Childhood height, weight and knee injury had been measured according to standard protocols 25 years earlier and body mass index (BMI) and percentage overweight were calculated. Results The prevalence of knee pain was 34% and overweight in childhood and adulthood was 7% and 48%, respectively. Overall, there were no significant associations between childhood overweight measures and total WOMAC knee pain, stiffness and dysfunction scores in adulthood. However, in men, overweight in childhood was associated with adulthood WOMAC pain (relative risk (RR) 1.72, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.69) and childhood weight and BMI were associated with WOMAC stiffness and dysfunction. Childhood weight, BMI and overweight were all associated with the presence of adulthood walking knee pain in men and the whole sample. Most of these associations were independent of adult overweight measures. Subjects who were overweight in both childhood and adult life had a significant increase in the risk and prevalence of adulthood walking pain (RR=2.42, 95% CI 1.06 to 5.53). Conclusions Childhood overweight measures were significantly associated with adulthood knee mechanical joint pain, stiffness and dysfunction among men, independent of adult overweight, suggesting that childhood overweight may lead to later knee symptoms in men.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Antony, B (Dr Benny Eathakkattu Antony)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Ding, C (Professor Chang-Hai Ding)
ID Code:87958
Year Published:2015 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-12-19
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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