Objective: To examine the relationship between knee pain and occupation in a community setting.
Design: A postal survey was sent to 4057 men and women aged 40-80. Subjects were asked about chronic knee pain. A question concerning job title and industry was included in addition to demographic details. Prevalence of knee pain and odds ratios for pain were calculated for the most common occupational groups.
Results: Response was 82% and overall prevalence of knee pain was 28%. Highest prevalence of pain was seen in carpenters and miners. Increased odds for pain (adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, social class, smoking history and psychological distress) were apparent in carpenters (4.6, 95% confidence intervals 1.9-11.1), miners (1.9, 95%CI 1.3-2.8) and construction workers (2.4, 95%CI 1.4-4.1).
Conclusions: Increased risk of knee pain is apparent in miners, construction workers and carpenters; occupations which are likely to involve knee bending and possibly heavy lifting.