A multicenter, matched case-control study of risk factors for equine laminitis

P. Alford, S. Geller, B. Richrdson, M. Slater, C. Honnas, J. Foreman, J. Robinson, M. Messer, M. Roberts, D. Goble, D. Hood, M. Chaffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Risk factors for equine laminitis were examined in a prospective case-control study of the 258 cases seen at six collaborating veterinary teaching hospitals over a 32-month period. Case-control pairs were matched on institution, clinician, and season of diagnosis. The 90% of case-control pairs (78 acute, 155 chronic) that had complete data for age, gender, and breed were used in separate conditional logistic-regression models for acute and chronic laminitis. There was an increase in risk for horses with acute laminitis from 5 to 7 years of age (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.3-16) and from 13 to 31 years of age (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.3-12) (both compared to <5 years); risk was increased for chronic laminitis from 10 to 14 years (OR 3, 95% CI 1.4-6.8) and from 15 to 38 years (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4-6.1) (both compared to <6 years). Mares - but not stallions - were more likely than geldings to develop acute laminitis (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.2) and chronic laminitis (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.6). In the small acute-laminitis data set, the breed variable was collapsed into three categories: Thoroughbred (THB, reference), the Quarter Horse (QH), and other (non-QH-THB). The non-QH-THB group was at increased risk of acute laminitis (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.2-11.8). For the seven breed-group categories used in the chronic-laminitis model, however, all non-THB breed groups appeared significantly at risk as compared to the THB, with odds ratios ranging from 3.3 (95% CI 1.3-8.30) for the QH to 9.1 (95% CI 2.1-39.3) for ponies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 1 2001


  • Age influence
  • Breed influence
  • Gender
  • Horse
  • Laminitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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