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Two subtypes of symptomatic joint hypermobility: a descriptive study using latent class analysis


Objective To investigate a cohort of children with symptomatic joint hypermobility.

Methods Case notes for 318 children with joint hypermobility attending a rheumatology clinic were reviewed for clinical presentation, medical history, psychosocial factors and physical examination findings. Seven key variables were extracted and used as indicator variables in a latent class analysis to estimate the presence and number of subgroups of children with symptomatic joint hypermobility.

Results Two subgroups with differing clinical presentations were identified accounting for age and gender: an ‘athletic-persistent’ class (62%) characterised by higher probabilities for recurrent and chronic musculoskeletal pain, and less severe hypermobility; and a ‘systemic-profound’ class (38%) characterised by generalised hypermobility, recurrent musculoskeletal pain, gastro-oesophageal reflux and motor delay.

Conclusion Findings suggest the presence of two distinct presentations of children with hypermobility. This finding may be important for clinical decision-making and management of this group of children.

  • hypermobility
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • developmental coordination disorder
  • joint hypermobility syndrome
  • hypermobility spectrum disorder
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