Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Validity of Footprint Analysis to Determine Flatfoot Using Clinical Diagnosis as the Gold Standard in a Random Sample Aged 40 Years and Older
Salvador Pita-FernándezCristina González-MartínTeresa Seoane-PilladoBeatriz López-CalviñoSonia Pértega-DíazVicente Gil-Guillén
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2015 Volume 25 Issue 2 Pages 148-154


Background: Research is needed to determine the prevalence and variables associated with the diagnosis of flatfoot, and to evaluate the validity of three footprint analysis methods for diagnosing flatfoot, using clinical diagnosis as a benchmark.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of a population-based random sample ≥40 years old (n = 1002) in A Coruña, Spain. Anthropometric variables, Charlson’s comorbidity score, and podiatric examination (including measurement of Clarke’s angle, the Chippaux-Smirak index, and the Staheli index) were used for comparison with a clinical diagnosis method using a podoscope. Multivariate regression was performed. Informed patient consent and ethical review approval were obtained.
Results: Prevalence of flatfoot in the left and right footprint, measured using the podoscope, was 19.0% and 18.9%, respectively. Variables independently associated with flatfoot diagnosis were age (OR 1.07), female gender (OR 3.55) and BMI (OR 1.39). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) showed that Clarke’s angle is highly accurate in predicting flatfoot (AUC 0.94), followed by the Chippaux-Smirak (AUC 0.83) and Staheli (AUC 0.80) indices. Sensitivity values were 89.8% for Clarke’s angle, 94.2% for the Chippaux-Smirak index, and 81.8% for the Staheli index, with respective positive likelihood ratios or 9.7, 2.1, and 2.0.
Conclusions: Age, gender, and BMI were associated with a flatfoot diagnosis. The indices studied are suitable for diagnosing flatfoot in adults, especially Clarke’s angle, which is highly accurate for flatfoot diagnosis in this population.

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© 2014 Salvador Pita-Fernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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