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ACR: Video Games Linked to Joint Pain in Children

Last Updated: October 19, 2009.

A significant portion of children playing with stationary or hand-held video game devices may have hand and wrist pain, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting, held from Oct. 17 to 21 in Philadelphia.

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A significant portion of children playing with stationary or hand-held video game devices may have hand and wrist pain, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting, held from Oct. 17 to 21 in Philadelphia.

Yusuf Yazici, M.D., of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, and colleagues studied 171 children ages 7 to 12 years, including 84 (49.1 percent) who reported zero to one hour of video game use per day, 58 (33.9 percent) who reported one to two hours per day, 12 (7 percent) who reported two to three hours per day, and 11 (6.4 percent) who reported more than three hours per day.

Overall, the researchers found that 20 (11.7 percent) of the children had finger pain and that 17 (9.9 percent) had wrist pain that limited their playing time. They also found that increasing age was associated with a decreased likelihood of reporting pain (odds ratio, 0.65) and that increased play hours and playing the Wii only were independently associated with an increased likelihood of reporting pain (odds ratios, 1.52 and 2.39, respectively).

"These findings may have implications for which age children should start playing with gaming consoles and handheld devices and possibly some limits in the hours they play," the authors conclude.

Yazici reported financial ties to several pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract