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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health: foot pain and body mass index

Women aged 70 to 75 years who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health completed a postal questionnaire incorporating questions relating to demographics, major medical conditions and health status in 1999 (n=8,059) and 2005 (n=4,745). Key variables explored included self-reported foot problems, major medical conditions and body mass index (BMI). It appears 26% of the sample reported foot problems. At follow-up, 37% remained free of foot problems but 36% had developed a new foot problem. 13% experienced resolution of their foot problems and 14% experienced persistent foot problems. Over the six year follow-up period increase in BMI was significantly associated with the development of new foot problems and the persistence of existing foot problems. Researchers concluded foot problems were common in older women and appeared associated with increased BMI. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight may play a role in the prevention of foot disorders in older women.

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