BMI, abdominal circumference estimated risk for lower extremity injury

Measurements of abdominal circumference and body mass index similarly estimated risk for lower extremity overuse injury, according to research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

In a retrospective review of electronic medical records of 79,868 United States Air Force personnel, stratified by body mass index (BMI) and abdominal circumference (AC), researchers analyzed data over 7 years to identify incidence of new lower-extremity overuse injury, including stress fractures, soft tissue injuries, joint injuries and osteoarthritis. Researchers used Cox proportional hazards regression to calculate risk of injury in obese and high-risk AC individuals.

According to study results, calculations showed a significant risk association between elevated BMI and AC related to all injury types. Individuals classified as obese had a greater risk for developing lower extremity injuries vs. patients classified with a normal weight. Researchers found using BMI and AC in a combined approach predicted injury risk better than either measure alone.

“Thanks to organized, electronic documentation, we currently have a wealth of military health and fitness data at our fingertips,” Nathaniel S. Nye, MD, a sports medicine fellow at the National Capital Consortium Sports Medicine Fellowship in Bethesda, Md., stated in a press release. “We plan to use this data to learn more about other injury types such as back injuries, as well as whether sit-up and push-up counts (measures of core strength) relate to injury risk. Ultimately, it may be possible to quantify each individual’s risk for injury and prioritize preventive measures.”

For more information:

Nye NS. Does abdominal circumference or body mass index better predict lower extremity injury risk? Presented at: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting; April 5-9. 2014; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Nye has no relevant financial disclosures.

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