Prevalence of Neck and Low Back Pain in Community-Dwelling Adults in Spain: A Population-Based National Study


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Abstract

Study Design.Cross-sectional epidemiological study.Objective.To determine the 1-year prevalence of neck pain and low back pain in the Spanish population and their association with sociodemographic and lifestyle habits, self-reported health status and comorbidity with other chronic disorders.Summary of Background Data.No recent population-based epidemiological studies have estimated the prevalence of neck and low back pain in Spain.Methods.We analyzed data obtained from adults aged 16 years or older (n = 29,478) who participated in the 2006 Spanish National Health Survey, an ongoing, home-based personal interview which examines a nation-wide representative sample of civilian noninstitutionalized population residing in main family dwellings (household) of Spain. We analyzed prevalence data of neck and low back pain and their relationship with socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, marital status, educational level, occupational status, or monetary income), self-perceived health status, lifestyle habits (smoking habit, alcohol consumption, sleep habit, physical exercise, or obesity), and the presence of concomitant chronic diseases or symptoms.Results.The 1-year prevalence was 19.5% (95% CI: 18.9–20.1) for neck pain and 19.9% (95% CI: 19.3–20.5) for low back pain. Both neck pain and low back pain were higher among female (26.4% and 24.5%) than male (12.3% and 15.1%). Subjects in the 31 to 50 years group were 1.5 times (95% CI: 1.3–1.8) more likely to report low back pain than participants in the 16 to 30 years group. Individuals reporting neck or low back pain showed worse self-reported health status (OR: 4.9, 95% CI: 4.5–5.3 for neck pain; OR: 4.7, 95% CI: 4.3–5.1 for low back pain) and were more likely to complain of depression (OR: 4.3, 95% CI: 3.9–4.7 or OR: 3.6, 95% CI: 3.3–3.9, respectively). Further, a strong association between neck and low back pain was found (OR: 15.6, 95% CI: 14.2–17.1). Finally, neck pain and low back pain were also associated with several other chronic conditions, particularly arthrosis (OR: 6.5, 95% CI: 6.0–7.0), and headaches (OR: 4.3, 95% CI: 3.9–4.8) for neck pain, and both arthrosis (OR: 5.7, 95% CI: 5.3–6.2), and osteoporosis (OR: 6.3, 95% CI: 5.6–7.2), for low back pain.Conclusion.This Spanish population-based survey showed that neck and low back pain are prevalent and highly associated between them, more frequent in female (particularly neck pain) and associated to worse self-reported health status. Individuals with neck and low back pain were more likely than those without pain to have depression and other painful conditions, including headache and osteoporosis.

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