Prevalence and associated factors of flatfoot in third-year medical students at Chiang Mai University

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Worrawith Tantaopas
Jidapa Jitchanvichai
Touch Laisiriroengrai
Nattapong Jenjai
Thanyathorn Julphakee
Nipon Theera-Umpon
Tanawat Vaseenon
Rojjana Phuackchantuck
Kanchana Harnsiriwattanagit
Paiwan Sudwan


Background : Flatfoot, or pes planus, is an abnormality of the foot that should be screened, and researched for its associated factors that could lead to its prevention.

Objectives : To study the prevalence of flatfoot in third year medical students, Chiang Mai University and to study the relationship between flatfoot and different factors including sex, foot dominance, body weight, height, weight
status and exercise.

Methods : Cross-sectional study of a census of 200 subjects from 240 people with their ages ranging from 19 to 22 years old was done with a creating questionnaire on google forms, asking for information including sex, foot dominance, body weight, height, and exercise. BMI of each individual was calculated. The Harris Mat Imprint was used to record the prints of the subjects’ feet and calculated to find the Chippaux-Smirak Index (CSI) to evaluate flatfoot. Descriptive statistics was processed to find the prevalence of flatfoot and correlation coefficients to find the relationship between sex, foot dominance, body weight, height, weight status and exercise with flatfoot.

Results : The results indicated 124 people with flatfoot, making 62.0% of the population. There were significances of the relationship between body weight, BMI and weight status and flatfoot severity (r =0.247 P < 0.001
r = 0.287 P < 0.001 and r = 0.239 P = 0.001 respectively). But the finding had no significant relationship between foot of dominance and the side of flatfoot.

Conclusion : The prevalence of flatfoot in students is more than 50%, and a clear correlation is made between flatfoot occurrence and body weight, BMI, and weight status. This information is useful for prevention of flatfoot and promotion of good foot care.

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Modern Medicine