Letters to the Editor
Running and Osteoarthritis of the Hip: Is There an Association?
FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.
FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Feb 15;83(4):352.
to the editor: As a runner and a physician who recommends regular exercise to his patients, I read with particular interest the “ Clinical Evidence Handbook” on osteoarthritis of the hip. I struggle with the question of whether running long distances is likely to increase, decrease, or have no effect on osteoarthritis of the hip.
The article makes seemingly contradictory statements in that there is moderate evidence for a positive association between osteoarthritis of the hip and running, but also that “only limited evidence exists for a positive association between the occurrence of osteoarthritis of the hip and participation in athletics.”
A recent prospective study did not show an increase in osteoarthritis of the knee among distance runners, although the study did not evaluate the hip.1 The literature asserts that running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Although not a peer-reviewed journal, Runner's World often quotes literature citing the benefits of running in maintaining joint health.2 Weight control probably is a major factor.
Marathon running continues to expand in the United States, with 468,000 marathon finishers in 2009.3 I believe there is a tendency for physicians to discourage this activity because of a long-standing belief that it is a traumatic sport. However, it may be that distance running actually promotes joint health by controlling weight. Perhaps Dr. Scott could clarify the evidence related to distance running and its effect on osteoarthritis. I would appreciate further discussion or insight into this issue.
Author disclosure: Nothing to disclose.
1. Chakravarty EF, Hubert HB, Lingala VB, Zatarain E, Fries JF. Long distance running and knee osteoarthritis. A prospective study. Am J Prev Med. 2008;35(2):133–138.
2. Burfoot A. Does running cause arthritis? Runner's World.. August 2004. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-285--9247-0,00.html. Accessed January 13, 2011.
3. MarathonGuide.com. USA marathoning: 2009 overview. http://www.marathonguide.com/Features/Articles/2009RecapOverview.cfm. Accessed January 13, 2011.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This letter was sent to the authors of "Osteoarthritis of the Hip," who declined to reply.
Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: email@example.com, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.
Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.
Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.
Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions