Obesity linked to increased musculoskeletal pain in school-age girls


Women with weight problems usually tend to expertise ache of their bones, joints, muscle mass, ligaments or tendons in contrast with kids with a wholesome weight, in accordance with analysis by Queen Mary College of London. The identical didn’t apply to boys.

Queen Mary researchers hope their findings will increase consciousness that weight problems might contribute to musculoskeletal issues in kids.

Within the examine, revealed in the present day in Archives of Illness in Childhood, researchers analyzed anonymized info on 120,000 kids, linking knowledge from the Nationwide Little one Measurement Programme with GP information. They discovered that ladies with weight problems had been 1.7 instances extra probably than these with a wholesome weight to have at the least one GP session for a musculoskeletal symptom or prognosis. Earlier analysis has indicated a hyperlink between musculoskeletal issues and weight problems in kids, however this examine is the primary to look at the affiliation inside a big, ethnically various inhabitants within the UK, with excessive ranges of childhood weight problems and deprivation.

Knee ache was the most typical symptom reported within the examine, adopted by again ache. The authors word that musculoskeletal issues on this context could also be brought on by extra weight inserting further stress on the physique’s joints, however extra analysis is required to grasp why this ends in a rise in issues for ladies and never boys.

The Nationwide Little one Measurement Programme is a Authorities initiative whereby kids of main college age in England are weighed and measured at college by well being professionals. This system gathers knowledge to grasp long-term traits in childhood weight problems and inform nationwide and native authority insurance policies.

The analysis was funded by a grant from Barts Charity.

Our findings display the worth of linking and learning anonymized well being knowledge – with out figuring out the id of any youngster, we had been in a position to produce essential insights into the implications of weight problems for well being throughout childhood.”

We hope our findings will enhance consciousness of the importance of poor musculoskeletal well being, and drive extra analysis into understanding the hyperlink with childhood weight problems. Extra must be accomplished at policy-level to help households to stop weight problems and doubtlessly scale back the danger of musculoskeletal ache.”

Nicola Firman, Well being Information Scientist at Queen Mary College of London

Victoria King, Director of Funding and Influence at Barts Charity stated:

“With our funding, the REAL-HEALTH group at Queen Mary is utilizing anonymized well being knowledge to realize insights and construct instruments which are instantly impacting well being outcomes regionally. We’re excited to see the outcomes of this first-of-its-kind examine from the group, exhibiting an affiliation between childhood weight problems and musculoskeletal issues in a various UK inhabitants. Constructing a stronger proof base on the doable causes of joint and muscle ache might result in coverage adjustments that may enhance the well being of youngsters in East London, in addition to nationally.”


Journal reference:

Firman, N., et al. (2024). Are kids residing with weight problems extra prone to expertise musculoskeletal signs throughout childhood? A linked longitudinal cohort examine utilizing main care information. Archives of Illness in Childhood. doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2023-326407.

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