September 29, 2009

Women’s shoes linked to pain, not men’s

The shoes many women choose to wear now may cause them pain when they are older, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Alyssa B. Dufour, a graduate student at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife found that the types of shoes women wear -- specifically high-heels, pumps and sandals -- may cause future heel and ankle pain.

The study, published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, found nearly 64 percent of women who reported hind-foot pain regularly wore these types of shoes at some point in their life.

The researchers analyzed foot-examination data of more than 3,300 men and women as part of the Framingham Study, a study begun in 1948 to study cardiovascular disease.

The researchers said past shoe wear among women is a key factor for hind-foot pain, but they found no significant link between foot pain and the types of shoes men wear.

Foot pain is a common complaint in the U.S. adult population -- foot and toe symptoms are among the top 20 reasons for physician visits among those 65 to 74 years of age, Dufour said.