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Prevalence and risk factors for joint pain among men and women in the West of Scotland Twenty-07 study
  1. J Adamson1,
  2. S Ebrahim2,
  3. P Dieppe2,
  4. K Hunt3
  1. 1Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK
  2. 2Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Joy Adamson
    Department of Health Sciences, University of York, 1st Floor Seebohm Rowntree Building, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK; Ja14{at}


Objective: To examine the association between three modifiable risk factors (obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption) and reported joint pain.

Methods: Cross sectional data were collected on 858 people aged 58 years living in the West of Scotland and on the same individuals four years later, aged 62 years.

Results: There was a positive relation between obesity and reported pain in the hips, knees, ankles, and feet. The strongest relation was with knee pain (odds ratio = 2.42 (95% confidence interval, 1.65 to 3.56)). There were no strong consistent associations between smoking habits and pain in any joint after adjusting for sex, alcohol consumption, body mass index, social class, and occupational exposures. Similarly, alcohol was not consistently related to pain in any joint in the fully adjusted models.

Conclusions: Obesity had consistent and readily explained associations with lower limb joint pain. The data suggest that smoking behaviour and alcohol consumption are not consistently associated with joint pain across the body.

  • joint pain
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • alcohol

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  • Published Online First 26 August 2005