Prevalence of Chronic Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, and Knee Pain and Their Related Factors in Community-Dwelling Adults in Iran: A Population-based National Study

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Chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) is increasing in prevalence rapidly. Over the past 2 decades low back pain has been ranked globally as the primary cause of years lived with disability. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of chronic neck pain (CNP), chronic low back pain (CLBP), and chronic knee pain (CKP) and their related risk factors in the national Iranian population.


We analyzed data obtained through a cross-sectional, population-based survey of 7889 Iranians who were aged between 30 and 70 years.


The prevalence of CNP, CLBP, and CKP was 15.34%, 27.18%, and 29.97%, respectively. Female sex, aging, body mass index≥25, Lur or Arab ethnicity, illiteracy, passive smoking, positive osteoporosis history, and low or high physical activity levels were risk factors for CLBP, CNP, and CKP after adjustment for potential confounders. For example, in participants with a body mass index≥30, odds ratios for CNP, CLBP, and CKP adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, living area, education, employment status, smoking, and physical activity levels were 1.26 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.52), 1.37 (95% CI, 1.17-1.59), and 1.64 (95% CI, 1.41-1.91), respectively.


This is the first study investigating the prevalence of CNP, CLBP, and CKP in the national population of Iran. It shows some modifiable risk factors for CMP, and suggests that affordable planning for these risk factors can be valuable in preventing CMP globally. However, this is a cross-sectional study and future longitudinal studies in this field are necessary.

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