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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


JANNINI, Suely Nóbrega; DORIA-FILHO, Ulysses; DAMIANI, Durval  and  SILVA, Clovis Artur Almeida. Musculoskeletal pain in obese adolescents. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.4, pp.329-335. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of pain, musculoskeletal syndromes, orthopedic disorders and using computers and playing videogames among obese adolescents. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study that investigated 100 consecutive obese adolescents and 100 healthy-weight controls using a confidential, self-report questionnaire covering demographic data, sports participation, painful musculoskeletal system symptoms and using computers and playing videogames. The questionnaire’s test-retest reliability was tested. Physical examination covered six musculoskeletal syndromes and seven orthopedic disorders. RESULTS: The kappa index for test-retest was 0.724. Pain and musculoskeletal syndromes were equally prevalent in both groups (44 vs. 56%, p = 0.09; 12 vs. 16%, p = 0.541; respectively). Notwithstanding, orthopedic disorders (98 vs. 76%, p = 0.0001), tight quadriceps (89 vs. 44%, p = 0.0001) and genu valgum (87 vs. 24%, p = 0.0001) were significantly more prevalent in obese adolescents than in controls. Median time spent using a computer the day before, on Saturdays and on Sundays were all lower among the obese subjects (30 vs. 60 minutes, p = 0.0001; 1 vs. 60 minutes, p = 0.001; and 0 vs. 30 minutes, p = 0.02; respectively). Obese adolescents were less likely to play handheld videogames (2 vs. 11%, p = 0.003) and there was no difference in the two groups’ use of full-sized videogames (p > 0.05). Comparing obese adolescents with pain to those free from pain revealed that pain was more frequent among females (59 vs. 39%, p = 0.048) and was associated with greater median time spent playing on Sundays [0 (0-720) vs. 0 (0-240) minutes, p = 0.028]. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity can cause osteoarticular system damage at the start of adolescence, particularly to the lower limbs. Programs developed specifically for obese female adolescents with musculoskeletal pain are needed.

Keywords : Adolescent; obesity; pain; musculoskeletal syndrome; computers; videogames; handheld videogames.

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