The prevalence of joint hypermobility among high school students
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The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of joint hypermobility among high school students and to define the characteristics of patients with joint hypermobility.
The students underwent complete history and physical examination. In order to designate marfanoid habitus, body weight, height, and span/height and upper/lower segment ratios were recorded. The degree of joint hypermobility was scored by the Beighton scoring system. The following features were also examined: arthralgia, myalgia, low back pain, sciatica, spinal deformities, temporomandibular joint pain and crepitus, effusion, swan neck deformity, arachnodactyly, joint dislocation, joint sprain, Raynaud’s phenomenon, stria, varicose veins, abdominal and inguinal hernia, heart disease history, myopia, dropping eyelids, and antimongoloid slant.
Eight hundred sixty-one students (433 females and 428 males) with a mean age of 15.4±1.1 years (range 13–19) were examined. Joint hypermobility was observed in 101 (11.7%) of the students. According to the Beighton scoring system, the majority of these (61.4%) were observed to score 4. Our results show that phenotype has no relation with joint mobility. Of the total number of students, there were 31 male (7.2%) and 70 female (16.2%) hypermobile subjects. The difference between sexes was highly significant (P=0.00005). Joint sprain was detected in 14 of hypermobile students (13.9%) and 50 of nonhypermobile students (6.6%). Its presence was the only significant parameter between hypermobile and nonhypermobile students (P=0.0094).
Joint hypermobility was found in 11.7% of the students in our study, and the results are in harmony with the previous studies on Western populations. Although hypermobility does not seem to be very problematic in young people, as in our focus group, we believe that it is important for physicians to recognize this problem to ensure correct diagnosis and treatment, since it may lead to mimic rheumatic diseases in the future.
KeywordsBeighton scale Joint hypermobility Joint laxity Prevalence
We thank Dr. Reha Alpar from the Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, for planning this study.
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