Objectives: This study examined the prevalence and consequences of foot binding in older Chinese women.
Methods: Women older than 70 years in Beijing, China, were assessed for bound feet, falls, functional status, and bone density.
Results: Thirty-eight percent of women aged 80 years and older and 18% of women aged 70 through 79 years had bound-foot deformities. Women with bound feet were more likely to fall, less able to squat, and less able to stand up from a chair without assistance than women with normal feet. They also had 14.3% less functional reach (a test of balance) and 5.1% lower hip bone density.
Conclusions: Foot binding has caused substantial disability that is still evident in many elderly Chinese women.