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Life course longitudinal growth and risk of knee osteoarthritis at age 53 years: evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort study

Staines, Katherine A and Hardy, Rebecca and Samvelyan, Hasmik J and Ward, Kate A and Cooper, Rachel (2020) Life course longitudinal growth and risk of knee osteoarthritis at age 53 years: evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. ISSN 1063-4584

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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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Abstract

Objective To examine the relationship between height gain across childhood and adolescence with knee osteoarthritis in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). Materials and methods Data are from 3035 male and female participants of the NSHD. Height was measured at ages 2, 4, 6, 7, 11 and 15 years, and self-reported at ages 20 years. Associations between (i) height at each age (ii) height gain during specific life periods (iii) Super-Imposition by Translation And Rotation (SITAR) growth curve variables of height size, tempo and velocity, and knee osteoarthritis at 53 years were tested. Results In sex-adjusted models, estimated associations between taller height and decreased odds of knee osteoarthritis at age 53 years were small at all ages - the largest associations were an OR of knee osteoarthritis of 0.9 per 5cm increase in height at age 4, (95% CI 0.7-1.1) and an OR of 0.9 per 5cm increase in height, (95% CI 0.8-1.0) at age 6. No associations were found between height gain during specific life periods or the SITAR growth curve variables and odds of knee osteoarthritis. Conclusions There was limited evidence to suggest that taller height in childhood is associated with decreased odds of knee osteoarthritis at age 53 years in this cohort. This work enhances our understanding of osteoarthritis predisposition and the contribution of life course height to this.

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