Hallux valgus and lesser toe deformities are highly heritable in white men and women of European descent, according to recent study results published in Arthritis Care & Research.
The study included 1,370 participants from the Framingham Foot Study who had their feet examined for hallux valgus, lesser toe deformities and plantar soft tissue atrophy between 2002 and 2008. Researchers performed genetic analyses of familial data to estimate heritability. Results were adjusted for age, gender and BMI.
Overall, study results showed that the prevalence of hallux valgus was 31%, whereas the prevalence of lesser toe deformities was 29.6% and of plantar soft tissue atrophy was 28.4%. Hallux valgus and lesser toe deformity were found to be highly heritable, depending on age and gender. However, plantar soft tissue atrophy did not demonstrate significant heritability in the study group, according to the researchers.
“Our study is the largest investigation of the heritability of common foot disorders in older adults, confirming that bunions and lesser tow deformities are highly inheritable in Caucasian men and women of European descent,” Marian T. Hannan, DSc, MPH, of the Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., stated. “These new findings highlight the importance of furthering our understanding of what causes greater susceptibility to these foot conditions, as knowing more about the pathway may ultimately lead to early prevention or early treatment.”
For more information:
Hannan MT. Arthritis Care Res. 2013;doi:10.1002/acr.22040.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures. Hannan is editor-in-chief of Arthritis Care &Research.