The correlation of Achilles tendinopathy and body mass index

Foot Ankle Spec. 2013 Aug;6(4):283-5. doi: 10.1177/1938640013490019. Epub 2013 May 17.


With this study we intend to determine if there is a correlation between body mass index (BMI) and Achilles tendon pathology. A retrospective chart review of 197 patients was performed with CPT codes of Achilles tendinosis/tendonitis. These 197 patients were then compared with 100 random new patient encounters excluding Achilles pathology, plantar fasciitis, and surgical consults. Statistical analysis was then performed to identify correlation of BMI to incidence of Achilles tendinosis compared with patients without Achilles pathology. A total of 197 Achilles tendon pathology patients (113 male, 84 female) were analyzed and had a mean age of 52.77 ± 11.8 years (21-82) with a BMI of 34.69 ± 7.54 (17.9-75.9). The control group had a mean age of 42.74 ± 12.1 years (21-78) and mean BMI of 30.56 ± 7.55 (19.7-61.5). A significant difference was found in mean BMI between the Achilles tendinopathy group versus the control group (P < .001). There was a very significant difference in age noted between the 2 cohorts (52.77 years vs 42.74 years, P < .001), perhaps reenforcing the involvement of age-related degenerative changes. In this study, patients with Achilles pathology exhibited a significantly higher BMI than non-Achilles patients (P < .001) even after accounting for age.

Levels of evidence: Prognostic Level II.

Keywords: Achilles; BMI; tendinopathy; tendonitis.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult