Background: There is little evidence regarding long-term outcomes of locomotor dysfunction such as cardiovascular events, quality of life, and death. We are conducting a prospective cohort study to evaluate risk of cardiovascular disease, quality of life, medical costs, and mortality attributable to locomotor dysfunction. The present study determined baseline characteristics of participants in the Locomotive Syndrome and Health Outcome in Aizu Cohort Study (LOHAS).
Methods: Cohort participants were recruited from residents between 40 and 80 years old who received regular health check-ups conducted by local government each year between 2008 and 2010 in Minami-Aizu Town and Tadami Town in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Musculoskeletal examination included assessment of physical examination of the cervical and lumbar spine, and upper and lower extremities and of physical function, such as grasping power, one-leg standing time, and time for the 3-m timed up-and-go test. Cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure and biological parameters, were measured at annual health check-ups. We also conducted a self-administered questionnaire survey.
Results: LOHAS participants comprised 1,289 men (mean age 65.7 years) and 1,954 women (mean age 66.2 years) at the first year. The proportion of obese individuals (body mass index 25.0 kg/m(2)) was 31.9% in men and 34.3% in women, and 41.0% of participants reported being followed up for hypertension, 7.0% for diabetes, and 43.6% for hypercholesterolemia. Prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis was 10.7% in men and 12.9% in women, while prevalence of low back pain was 15.8% in men and 17.6% in women.
Conclusion: The LOHAS is a novel population-based prospective cohort study that will provide an opportunity to estimate the risk of cardiovascular disease, quality of life, medical costs, and mortality attributable to locomotor dysfunction, and to provide the epidemiological information required to develop policies for detection of locomotor dysfunction.