The prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility in elite Australian dancers
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
To determine the prevalence of Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome–Hypermobility Type (JHS/EDS-HT) among dancers using established validated measures.
Observational Cohort Study.
85 dancers from two dance institutions.
Main Outcome Measures
GJH was determined using the Beighton score (cut-point ≥5/9) and the Lower Limb Assessment Scale (LLAS) (cut-point ≥7/12). Presence of JHS/EDS-HT was assessed using the Brighton and Villefranche criteria. Paired sample t-test was performed to compare LLAS side-to-side scores, and percentage disagreements calculated to determine differences between the two GJH and the two JHS/EDS-HT measures.
72% of dancers met the Beighton cut-point for GJH, while 38% and 42% met the LLAS cut-point on the left and right respectively. The proportion of dancers identified with GJH was different when assessed using the Beighton compared to the left and right LLAS (both p < 0.001), a disagreement of 48% and 46% respectively, with Beighton classifying more participants as having GJH. The Villefranche identified more dancers with JHS/EDS-HT than the Brighton (84% vs 31%, p < 0.001), with 54% disagreement.
High prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility was found regardless of the criteria used. A higher Beighton cut-point, e.g. ≥6/9, to identify true GJH amongst dancers maybe warranted.