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OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that farmers are at high risk of hip osteoarthritis and to investigate possible causes for such a hazard. DESIGN: Cross sectional survey. SETTING: Five rural general practices. SUBJECTS: 167 male farmers aged 60-76 and 83 controls from mainly sedentary jobs. All those without previous hip replacement underwent radiography of the hip. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hip replacement for osteoarthritis or radiological evidence of hip osteoarthritis. RESULTS: Prevalence of hip osteoarthritis was higher in farmers than controls and especially in those who had farmed for over 10 years (odds ratio 9.3, 95% confidence interval 1.9 to 44.5). The excess could not be attributed to any one type of farming, and heavy lifting seems the likely explanation. CONCLUSIONS: Manual handling in agriculture should be limited where possible. Consideration should be given to making hip osteoarthritis a prescribed industrial disease in farmers. There may be wider implications for the prevention of hip osteoarthritis in the general population.

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMJ (Clinical research ed.)

Publication Date

05/1992

Volume

304

Pages

1269 - 1272

Addresses

ARC Epidemiology Research Unit, University of Manchester.

Keywords

Humans, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Agricultural Workers' Diseases, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Cross-Sectional Studies, Age Factors, Aged, Middle Aged, England, Male