Context: Little is known about the relationship among sex, generalized joint hypermobility, and glenohumeral joint instability.
Objective: To examine the relationship among sex, generalized joint hypermobility scores, and a history of glenohumeral joint instability within a young, physically active cohort and to describe the incidence of generalized joint hypermobility within this population.
Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.
Setting: United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Patients or other participants: Of the 1311 members of the entering freshman class of 2010, 1050 (80%) agreed to participate.
Main outcome measure(s): Generalized joint hypermobility was assessed using the Beighton Scale. A history of glenohumeral joint instability was identified via a baseline questionnaire.
Results: Most participants (78%) had no signs of generalized joint hypermobility. Only 11 volunteers (1.5%) had Beighton Scale scores of 4 or greater. Logistic regression analysis revealed a relationship between generalized joint hypermobility and a history of glenohumeral joint instability (P = .023). When sex and race were controlled, those with a total Beighton Scale score of >or=2 were nearly 2.5 times as likely (odds ratio = 2.48, 95% confidence interval = 1.19, 5.20, P = .016) to have reported a history of glenohumeral joint instability. A relationship was observed between sex and nearly all individual Beighton Scale items. Although women had higher total Beighton Scale scores than men, sex (P = .658) and race (P = .410) were not related to a history of glenohumeral joint instability when other variables in the model were controlled.
Conclusions: In these participants, generalized joint hypermobility and a history of glenohumeral joint instability were associated.