Foot pain is a common complaint in adults. Evidence suggests that body composition is involved in the development of foot pain. However, whether this is the case in men remains unclear because previous studies mainly examined women. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the relationship between body composition and foot pain in men while accounting for important risk factors.
Among 978 men (median age 60 yrs, range 24–98) from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study who participated in a followup study in 2006 to 2011, 796 provided responses to questions on health status and foot pain. Foot pain was determined using the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index, and body composition was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Of the 796 respondents, 177 (22%) had foot pain. Risk factors for foot pain were age (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.02–1.04), self-reported depression (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.30–3.20), decreased mobility (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.05–2.24), and lower education (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03–2.09). Foot pain was associated with body mass index (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.00–1.10), fat mass (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.03–1.05), and fat mass index (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.01–1.15), but not fat-free mass (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98–1.04) or fat-free mass index (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.95–1.15) after appropriate adjustments were made.
Fat mass is associated with foot pain in men. These findings complement those in studies that have mainly examined women, and provide further evidence for the relationship between obesity and foot pain.