Journal Article

Prevalence of Foot and Ankle Conditions in a Multiethnic Community Sample of Older Adults

J. E. Dunn, C. L. Link, D. T. Felson, M. G. Crincoli, J. J. Keysor and J. B. McKinlay

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 159, issue 5, pages 491-498
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Prevalence of Foot and Ankle Conditions in a Multiethnic Community Sample of Older Adults

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The prevalence of foot and ankle disorders was determined in a community-based, multiethnic (non-Hispanic White, African American, and Puerto Rican) random sample of 784 community-dwelling adults aged 65 or more years in 2001–2002 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Overall, the five most common conditions were toenail disorders (74.9%), lesser toe deformities (60.0%), corns and calluses (58.2%), bunions (37.1%), and signs of fungal infection, cracks/fissures, or maceration between toes (36.3%); 30.9% had some tenderness to palpation of the foot or ankle, and 14.9% had ankle joint pain on most days in the past 4 weeks. Toenail conditions, fungal symptoms, and ulcers or lacerations were more common in men, while bunions and corns and calluses were more common in women (p < 0.001). Significant racial/ethnic differences, independent of education or gender, were found for the prevalence of most toe deformities and flat feet, as well as for corns and calluses, fungal signs, edema, ankle joint pain, tenderness to palpation, and sensory loss. Foot and ankle disorders are common in these older adults. Examination of their prevalence in different segments of the community may inform future studies to determine etiology and means of prevention.

Keywords: aged; epidemiologic measurements; foot deformities; foot dermatoses; foot diseases; prevalence; Abbreviations: NHANES III, Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; NHIS, National Health Interview Survey.

Journal Article.  5332 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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