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Prevalence and Associated Factors of Flat Feet among Patients with Hypertension; Findings from a Cross Sectional Study Carried Out at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Sri Lanka

Author(s): Jithmi N Samarakoon, Nipun Lakshitha de Silva, Deepika Fernando

Background: Hypertension is considered a risk factor for flat feet as it causes posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. The objectives of this study were to identify the prevalence and associated factors of flat feet among patients with hypertension.

Methods: A cross sectional study with systematic sampling was done in three selected hypertension clinics at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Patients with hypertension above 40 years of age with no other recognized risk factors were enrolled. Socio-demographic details and clinical information were collected using a pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire. Arch index was obtained by a static footprint on the Harris mat. Body weight and height were measured using standard instruments. Body Mass Index was calculated. Descriptive statistics, Independent t- test, Chi-square test and Pearson correlation were used for data analysis.

Results: Of the 403 participants enrolled, 53.8% were females. The mean arch index of right and left sides were 0.26883 ± 0.3477 and 0.26993 ± 0.03484 respectively. Overall prevalence of flat feet was 51.6%; it was right sided in 32% and left sided in 37.7%. Higher Body Mass Index was associated with presence of flat feet (p=0.001) and arch index (p<0.001). There was no significant association with gender or duration of hypertension.

Conclusions: Prevalence of flat feet among patients with hypertension seems to be greater than reported in non-hypertensive individuals with otherwise similar characteristics. Increasing body mass index even below the threshold of 30 kg/m2 seems to be associated with higher risk.

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