Factors associated with pain and osteoarthritis at the hip and knee in Great Britain’s Olympians: A cross-sectional study

Dale J Cooper, Brigitte E Scammell, Mark E Batt, Debbie Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Knowledge of the epidemiology and potentially modifiable factors associated with musculoskeletal disease is an important first step in injury prevention among elite athletes.

Aim: This study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with pain and osteoarthritis (OA) at the hip and knee in Great Britain’s (GB) Olympians aged 40 and older.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. A survey was distributed to 2742 GB Olympians living in 30 countries. Of the 714 (26.0%) who responded, 605 were eligible for analysis (ie, aged 40 and older).

Results: The prevalence of hip and knee pain was 22.4% and 26.1%, and of hip and knee OA was 11.1% and 14.2%, respectively. Using a multivariable model, injury was associated with OA at the hip (adjusted OR (aOR) 10.85; 95% CI 3.80 to 30.96) and knee (aOR 4.92; 95% CI 2.58 to 9.38), and pain at the hip (aOR 5.55; 95% CI 1.83 to 16.86) and knee (aOR 2.65; 95% CI 1.57 to 4.46). Widespread pain was associated with pain at the hip (aOR 7.63; 95% CI 1.84 to 31.72) and knee (aOR 4.77; 95% CI 1.58 to 14.41). Older age, obesity, knee malalignment, comorbidities, hypermobility and weight-bearing exercise were associated with hip and knee OA and/or pain.

Conclusions: This study detected an association between several factors and hip and knee pain/OA in retired GB Olympic athletes. These associations require further substantiation in retired athletes from other National Olympic Committees, and through comparison with the general population. Longitudinal follow-up is needed to investigate the factors associated with the onset and progression of OA/pain, and to determine if modulation of such factors can reduce the prevalence of pain and OA in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1108
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume52
Issue number17
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2018

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