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Degenerative knee disease among dairy farmers.

Anderson C; Treuhaft PS; Pierce WE; Horvath EP
Principles of health and safety in agriculture. Dosman JA, Cockcroft DW, eds., Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc., 1989 Oct; :367-369
The prevalence of degenerative knee disease in dairy farmers was determined and analyzed to ascertain if it was higher than other occupations. Degenerative knee disease was defined as osteoarthritis of the tibiofemoral joint or meniscal damage. The study population consisted of men aged 20 to 60 years who were continually enrolled in the Greater Marshfield Community Health Plan in Wisconsin for the last 5 years. Of those that met these criteria, there were 714 who had a diagnosis of joint pain, internal derangement of the knee, knee sprain, or degenerative arthritis of the knee. Age matched controls were randomly selected from the study population. All farmers were considered together in the analysis. The nonfarm occupations were divided into blue collar and white collar workers. There were 119 cases of osteoarthritis, 26 cases of meniscal damage, and 31 cases which had both disorders. The mean age of onset of degenerative disease was 44.4 years. There were 90 farmers, 59 blue collar workers, and 25 white collar workers. The odds ratio for white collar workers was set at one and the ratios for farmers and blue collar workers was set relative to it. Farmers between the ages of 20 and 39, and between 40 and 49 years had a higher odds ratio for degenerative knee disease than blue collar workers in the same age groups. Between 50 and 60 years, the odds ratio was similar between farmers and blue collar workers. Cases of degenerative knee disease were 9.7 pounds heavier that their matched controls. The simultaneous effects of occupation, body mass index, the interaction of body mass index with occupation, and the interaction of age with occupation and body mass index was examined. Only the interaction of blue collar work and age was significant.
Humans; Knee-disorders; Animal-husbandry; Agricultural-workers; Chronic-degenerative-diseases; Age-factors; Knee-injuries; Body-weight; Skeletal-disorders; Bone-disorders
Publication Date
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Dosman JA; Cockcroft DW
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Principles of health and safety in agriculture
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division