Study identifies low back pain risk factors

30 March 2015

New research has identified a number of risk factors that increases a person's likelihood of having lower back pain.

The findings were presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and cited smoking, obesity, excessive drinking and depressive disorders as risk factors for low back pain. This could be significant as it is a major cause of disability and people having a lower quality of life.

Determining modifiable risk factors for low back pain could help avoid or diminish the financial and emotional costs of the condition.

To arrive at their conclusion, the team analysed the records of more than 26 million patients from 13 healthcare systems, with some 1.2 million having been diagnosed with lower back back pain.

"This study used an electronic health care database to identify modifiable risk factors--obesity, depressive disorders, alcohol and tobacco use--in patients with low back pain," said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Scott Shemory. "The findings will allow physicians to better counsel and more closely follow their high-risk patients."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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