Published Papers - Abstract 427

Menz H, Barr E & Brown W. Predictors and persistence of foot problems in women aged 70 years and over: a prospective study. Maturitas, 2011; 68(1): 83-87

Objective: To examine the prevalence and correlates of foot problems in older women over a 6-year period.Study design: Women aged 70-75 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=8059) and 2005 (n=4745).Main outcome measures:Self-reported foot problems at baseline and at 6 years follow-up, major medical conditions, body mass index (BMI).Results: At baseline, 26% of the sample reported foot problems. At follow-up, 37% remained free of foot problems, 36% had developed a new foot problem, 13% experienced resolution of their foot problems and 14% experienced persistent foot problems. Increase in BMI was significantly associated with the development of new foot problems and the persistence of existing foot problems.Conclusions: Foot problems are common in older women and are associated with increased BMI. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight may therefore play a role in the prevention of foot disorders in older women.