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Prev Vet Med. 2001 May 1;49(3-4):209-22.

A multicenter, matched case-control study of risk factors for equine laminitis.

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Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, Mail Stop 4458, College Station, TX 77843-4458, USA.


Risk factors for equine laminitis were examined in a prospective case-control study of the 258 cases seen at six collaborating veterinary teaching hospitals over a 32-month period. Case-control pairs were matched on institution, clinician, and season of diagnosis. The 90% of case-control pairs (78 acute, 155 chronic) that had complete data for age, gender, and breed were used in separate conditional logistic-regression models for acute and chronic laminitis. There was an increase in risk for horses with acute laminitis from 5 to 7 years of age (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.3-16) and from 13 to 31 years of age (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.3-12) (both compared to <5 years); risk was increased for chronic laminitis from 10 to 14 years (OR 3, 95% CI 1.4-6.8) and from 15 to 38 years (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4-6.1) (both compared to <6 years). Mares - but not stallions - were more likely than geldings to develop acute laminitis (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.2) and chronic laminitis (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.6). In the small acute-laminitis data set, the breed variable was collapsed into three categories: Thoroughbred (THB, reference), the Quarter Horse (QH), and other (non-QH-THB). The non-QH-THB group was at increased risk of acute laminitis (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.2-11.8). For the seven breed-group categories used in the chronic-laminitis model, however, all non-THB breed groups appeared significantly at risk as compared to the THB, with odds ratios ranging from 3.3 (95% CI 1.3-8.30) for the QH to 9.1 (95% CI 2.1-39.3) for ponies.

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