Low Back Pain: High Global Disability, Burden

More Global Disability for Low Back Pain Than Other Ailments
More Global Disability for Low Back Pain Than Other Ailments

(HealthDay News) — Low back pain (LBP), including that arising from ergonomic exposures at work, is associated with considerable global disability and burden, according to two studies published online March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Damian Hoy, MPH, PhD, from the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, and colleagues used data from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study to examine the global burden of LBP. The researchers found that LBP ranked highest of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study in terms of disability, and sixth in terms of overall burden (disability-adjusted life years [DALYs]). LBP had a global point prevalence of 9.4%, and there was an increase in prevalence and burden with age.

In a second study, Tim Driscoll, MBBS, PhD, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues quantified the burden arising from LBP due to occupational exposure to ergonomic risk factors as part of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. The researchers found that in 2010 there were an estimated 21.7 million DALYs caused by LBP arising from ergonomic exposures at work. The overall population-attributable fraction was 26%, which varied substantially based on age, sex, and region. From 1990–2010 there was a 22% increase in overall LBP DALYs due to population growth, while during the same period, rates decreased by 14 percent.

"LBP arising from ergonomic exposures at work is an important cause of disability," Driscoll and colleagues write.

Abstract - Hoy
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Abstract - Driscoll
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