Hip and knee replacement as a proxy measure for lower limb osteoarthritis in Scottish military veterans

Bergman, B. P., Mackay, D. F. and Pell, J. P. (2021) Hip and knee replacement as a proxy measure for lower limb osteoarthritis in Scottish military veterans. BMJ Military Health, (doi: 10.1136/bmjmilitary-2021-001913) (PMID:34373348) (Early Online Publication)

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Introduction: Physical activity is an important component of military training. Although injuries and musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of medical retirement from the Armed Forces, the long-term risk of lower limb osteoarthritis in veterans is unknown. We used data on hip and knee replacement in Scottish military veterans as a proxy measure. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 78 000 veterans born between 1945 and 1995 and a comparison group of 253 000 non-veterans, matched for age, sex and area of residence, followed up for up to 37 years, using survival analysis to examine the risk of hip and knee replacement. Results: Veterans were significantly less likely to undergo hip replacement than non-veterans, Cox proportional HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.95, p<0.001. There was no significant difference between veterans and non-veterans in respect of knee replacement, HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.11, p=0.643, and there was no difference in the ages at which veterans and non-veterans underwent joint replacement. People who had served for longest in the military had similar risk to those with the shortest service. Conclusions: Based on the likelihood of undergoing joint replacement surgery in later life, we found no evidence of a positive association between military service and an increased risk of lower limb osteoarthritis.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bergman, Dr Beverly and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Pell, Professor Jill
Authors: Bergman, B. P., Mackay, D. F., and Pell, J. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:BMJ Military Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2633-3775
Published Online:09 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Military Health 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302109Trends in Scottish Veterans' HealthBeverly BergmanForces in Mind Trust (FiMT) (FIMT)FiMT17/1101UGHW - Public Health