Osteoarthritis of the hip: an occupational disease in farmers.
Croft P., Coggon D., Cruddas M., Cooper C.
To test the hypothesis that farmers are at high risk of hip osteoarthritis and to investigate possible causes for such a hazard.Cross sectional survey.Five rural general practices.167 male farmers aged 60-76 and 83 controls from mainly sedentary jobs. All those without previous hip replacement underwent radiography of the hip.Hip replacement for osteoarthritis or radiological evidence of hip osteoarthritis.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.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.