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Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Oct 15;174(8):877-84. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr205. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Musculoskeletal complaints among 11-year-old children and associated factors: the PIAMA birth cohort study.

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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands.


Musculoskeletal complaints (MSC) are common among children, often persist into adolescence, and increase the risk of MSC in adulthood. Knowledge regarding determinants of MSC among children is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of MSC at age 11 years and to examine associations with sociodemographic factors, growth and development factors, mental health, tiredness, and lifestyle. Data from a Netherlands birth cohort study, the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) Study (n = 2,638), were used (1996-2009). MSC were defined as complaints about the back, an upper extremity, a lower extremity, or any of these sites. Logistic regression analyses using a forward stepwise procedure were performed on multiply imputed data. The 1-year period prevalences of back, upper extremity, and lower extremity complaints that lasted at least 1 month were 2.8%, 4.8%, and 10.9%, respectively. Only poorer mental health was consistently associated with all 3 types of complaints. Poorer mental health, daytime tiredness, early pubertal development, being physically active at age 11 years, and weight-for-height z score were associated with having any MSC. This study showed that MSC, especially lower extremity complaints, are common among 11-year old-children and that only poorer mental health status is associated with MSC at all anatomic sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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