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An Pediatr (Barc). 2004 Aug;61(2):162-6.

[Joint hypermobility: prevalence and relationship with musculoskeletal pain].

[Article in Spanish]

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Centro de Salud Estrecho de Corea, Instituto Madrileño de la Salud Atención Primaria Area 4, Madrid, Spain.



(1) To determine the prevalence of joint hypermobility in children aged 4-14 years old without organic disease of the locomotor system; (2) to compare the prevalence of hypermobility in children with and without arthralgia and (3) to analyze the influence of certain variables on the development of arthralgia.


We performed an observational study in a sample of children aged 4-14 years old living in Area 4 of the Community of Madrid (Spain). Joint hypermobility was evaluated using a goniometer. Hypermobility was defined using Beighton's criteria.


A total of 222 subjects were analyzed: 176 in the primary care setting and 46 in the emergency department of a referral hospital. Of the 222 children, 43 reported arthralgia. The prevalence of hypermobility (> or = 4 criteria) was 55 % (123/222), reaching 71 % (49/69) in children aged less than 8 years. No significant differences were found in the prevalence of hypermobility in children with and without arthralgia (65 % and 53 % respectively). Of the variables analyzed (age, sex, country of origin, primary care/emergency department setting) only differences in the absolute number of Beighton criteria present in children with and without arthralgia (4.34 +/- 2.47 and 3.48 +/- 2.35, p = 0.03) were detected, which disappeared when at least four criteria (definition of hypermobility) were required.


Fifty-five percent of the population studied and 71 % of those younger than 8 years old met the criteria for joint hypermobility. In the sample analyzed, the presence of joint hypermobility did not seem to favor the development of arthralgias.

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