Bunion deformity more common in women, elderly: Study

February 24th, 2011 - 5:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 24 (ANI): A UK population-based study has found that bunion deformity, or hallux valgus, occurs more frequently in women and older individuals.

It also determined that an increase in the severity of the condition progressively reduces both general and foot-specific health related quality of life (HRQOL).

Hallux valgus is a common foot condition that is caused when the big toe bends in towards the smaller toes. Pain in other parts of the body beyond the foot was associated with increased bunion severity.

Hylton Menz of La Trobe University in Melbourne, and colleagues at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, examined the prevalence of and factors associated with hallux valgus, and assessed the severity of deformity on general and foot-specific HRQOL in a UK older adult population.

They collected information on 2,831 participants who were 56 years of age or older from the Medical Research Council funded North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis Project.

The study subjects were asked to complete the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey and the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index (FPDI).

The team established five severity grades of hallux valgus, corresponding to the angle of deformity of 0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 degrees, with one representing no angle and five indicating the most severe deformity.

The results showed that 36 percent of the respondents had some degree of hallux valgus.

The researchers found that the prevalence of bunion deformity was greater in women and increased with age.

They also found that the impact of increasing hallux valgus severity on HRQOL is independent of age, sex, education, BMI, and pain in other regions, and extends beyond pain and physical function to affect general health, vitality, social function, and mental health.

“Our findings indicate that hallux valgus is a significant and disabling musculoskeletal condition that affects overall quality of life,” concluded Menz.

Details of this study appear in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research. (ANI)

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