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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

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel CooperORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 The Authors. 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 (1) height at each age (2) height gain during specific life periods (3) 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 5 cm increase in height at age 4, (95% CI 0.7–1.1) and an OR of 0.9 per 5 cm 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Staines KA, Hardy R, Samvelyan HJ, Ward KA, Cooper R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Osteoarthritis and Cartilage

Year: 2021

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

Pages: 335-340

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 27/12/2020

Acceptance date: 21/12/2020

Date deposited: 12/01/2022

ISSN (print): 1063-4584

ISSN (electronic): 1522-9653

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2020.12.012

PubMed id: 33383179


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