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Occupational arthropathy: evidence from the past.
  1. H A Waldron,
  2. M Cox
  1. Occupational Health Department, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.


    The relation between osteoarthritis and occupation was examined in a group of skeletons from the crypt of Christ Church, Spitalfields, in east London used for burial between 1729 and 1869. Of the total of 968 discrete skeletons excavated, 367 had legible coffin plates giving details of name, age, sex, and date of death. Various sources were used to find the occupations of the group for which these details were known. As many of those buried in the crypt were Huguenots interest centred on the relation between weaving and osteoarthritis of the hands but none was found using a case-control study. Further analyses failed to show a relation between occupation and osteoarthritis of the shoulder or osteoarthritis at any site. There was a statistically significant association between non-manual occupations and osteoarthritis of the spine, the reasons for which are not yet clear.

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