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Research project: ELFOAB / Epidemiology and lifetime risk of osteoarthritis within the foot and biomechanical functional outcomes

Currently Active: 
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Supported by a Multi-Centre collaboration of four key research organizations, this project forms a comprehensive investigation, spanning 23 years, of the prevalence, progression, biomechanical function and associated risk factors for foot osteoarthritis.

An evidence gap for the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for OA within the feet exists. To address this, an observational cohort design is utilised to investigate two established cohorts from the general population who were recruited without selection of known lower limb osteoarthritis or foot pain.

The Chingford Women’s study cohort has made many significant contributions to our understanding of OA epidemiology and is now reaching its potential 23 year follow-up. This cohort was specifically recruited from a general population of women who had no evidence of osteoarthritis at inception. It has since become a prospective population-based longitudinal cohort of women seen annually and described in detail. It is listed by the National Institute for Health research (NIHR) as an important epidemiological resource and one of the few such cohorts with wide-ranging musculoskeletal data.

In order to explore the potential for gender bias in our study we will additionally perform a comparative study between a sample of middle aged and older healthy male participants (recruited 2002-2006) from the Nottingham group GOAL (genetics of OA & lifestyle) case control cohort who had no known lower limb mechanical abnormality or pathology at recruitment.

The research project has been designed as a series of 3 inter-linked studies: Clinical-Epidemiological (Study 1), Functional-Laboratory (Study 2) and Software-Technical (Study 3). Studies 2 and 3 follow study 1 and are parallel.

The project is supported by four key research groups, the Rehabilitation & Health Technologies Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, the Human Motor Performance Research Group in the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, University of East London, the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre, University of Nottingham and the NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford.

Funder: Dr William M Scholl Research and Development Endowment Fund

Associated research themes

Osteoarthritis

Biomechanical function

Foot and ankle pathology

Radiographic imaging of the foot

Related research groups

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Key Publications

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