(HealthDay News) – Increased loading of the lumbar spine, arising from lifestyle activities (such as lifting heavy objects, more frequent pregnancy, and higher body mass index), could contribute to the degenerative process and lead to development of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS), according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

Janan Abbas, from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues studied 165 individuals with DLSS (mean age, 64 ± 9.9 years) and 180 individuals without spinal stenosis-related symptoms (mean age, 62.5 ± 12.6 years). Evaluations included computed tomographic lumbar spine image-based assessment of the cross-sectional area of the dural sac and degenerative listhesis for all participants. Demographic, physical, and health data were ascertained from interviews.

The researchers found that females with stenosis were significantly heavier and shorter than their control-group counterparts, and they also delivered babies more often than women in the control group. For males, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus was significantly higher among those with stenosis than controls. Those with stenosis also significantly more frequently engaged in heavy manual labor (males) and housekeeping (females) than their counterparts in the control group.

“Heavy manual labor and diabetes mellitus in males and housekeeping (females) play major roles in the genesis of DLSS,” the authors write.

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