A study was undertaken to relate osteoarthritis [OA] in the weight bearing [WB] joints [hip, knee, ankle] to total running volume in 126 marathon runners [R] [19-75yrs] and 60 non-runners [NR] [19-75yrs] who responded to a questionnaire [59% response rate] that was previously validated to diagnose early OA by symptoms [pain, swelling, stiffness] [sensitivity=67%, specificity=89%] using radiography/arthroscopy. Runners were sub-divided into 3 groups according to total lifetime running volume [hrs] [yrs run X hrs/week X 4 X months/yrs run] [R1, n=40:<850, R2, n=43:850-2700, R3, n=43: >2700]. The prevalence [%] of OA was not significantly different [p>0.05] between the 4 groups for all WB joints [NR=4.7, R1=4.2, R2=4.2, R3=3.7], hip joint [NR=3.2, R1=0.5, R2=1.1, R3=0.5], knee joint [NR=2.1, R1=3.7, R2=3.7, R3=2.6], and ankle joint [NR=0, R1=1.6, R2=0, R3=0.5]. However, once adjusted for age, and previous injury to WB joints, the Odds Ratio for OA of all WB joints in the R1 group [3.2, CI 1.0-10.3], was significantly higher [p<0.05] compared with R2 [1.7, CI 0.6-4.8], and R3 [1.1, CI 0.4-3.1]. This study shows that lower running volumes are significantly associated with increased risk of OA, and that there is a possible decline in the risk of OA with increasing lifetime running volume.
American College of Sports Medicine; 46th Annual Meeting; Washington State; Convention & Trade Center; June 2-5, 1999
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A-34 POSTER MUSCULOSKELETAL ISSUES 1