The Scotsman January 2004-01-06
Wearing High Heels May Help Women Avoid Knee Problems
It is the news every shoe-loving woman has been waiting to hear
– wearing high heels may actually avoid painful knee conditions
in later life.
Fears that spine-bending stilettos could lead to knee arthritis
are unfounded, according to University of Warwick researchers
who discovered that three-inch heels were associated with reduced
risks of joint problems.
Professor Margaret Thorogood, from the Medical School, said
certain shoes did not cause knee problems but that being overweight
before 40, doing demanding physical work and previous knee injuries
In fact, there was a link between regular dancing in three-inch
heels and a reduced risk of knee problems, the academic said.
Stilettos were not to blame for knee arthritis as more than
half of the 111 women surveyed for the study – of whom some
suffered with the condition and some had no knee pain at all
– wore them.
Some 55.2 per cent of the women with knee arthritis regularly
wore 3 ins heels as did 67.1 per cent of women with no pain.
Professor Thorogood said: “Women who smoke, are overweight
and do a lot of heavy housework such as scrubbing are more likely
to develop painful knees later in life.
“But women who wear stiletto heels will
be reassured to learn that their choice of fashion-before-comfort
footwear will not lead to knee joint problems and may even prevent
The medical community previously thought that one reason why
women were twice as likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than
men could be high-heels.
More than 100 women aged 50 to 70 participated in the study
which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community