TUESDAY, March 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- For runners, risk factors for hip and/or knee osteoarthritis include a history of hip/knee injuries or surgery, advancing age, family history, and body mass index and do not include cumulative years of running or weekly mileage, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held from March 7 to 11 in Las Vegas.
Matthew James Hartwell, M.D., from McGaw Medical Department of Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined the cumulative effect of long-distance running over a lifetime and presence of hip and knee osteoarthritis in a survey study administered to all 37,917 participants registered for the 2019 or 2021 Chicago marathons.
Surveys were completed by 3,804 participants; participants ran an average of 27.9 miles per week and had been running for a mean of 14.7 years. The researchers found that 36.4 percent of participants had hip and/or knee pain during the prior year, and the prevalence of hip and/or knee arthritis was 7.3 percent. Risk factors for arthritis included a history of hip/knee injuries or surgery, advancing age, family history, and body mass index. Cumulative number of years running, number of marathons completed, weekly mileage, and mean running pace did not significantly predict arthritis. Despite 24.2 percent of participants being recommended by a physician to reduce their running volume or stop running, 94.2 percent of runners planned to run another marathon.
"Our hope is these findings educate physicians, so they don't instinctively advise against running and they work to meet patients on their level," a coauthor said in a statement.