Depression is Closely Associated With Chronic Low Back Pain in Patients Over 50 Years of Age: A Cross-sectional Study Using the Sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES VI-2)

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Study Design.A cross-sectional study.Objective.This study was designed to analyze the relationship between the presence and severity of depression and low back pain (LBP) in a representative sample of the general population using a self-report screening questionnaire for depression.Summary of Background Data.There is increasing evidence supporting an association between depression and LBP. However, the degree of the association between these two conditions in the general population is poorly understood.Methods.Health surveys and examinations were conducted on a nationally representative sample (n = 7550) of Koreans. LBP status was determined by a simple survey response concerning LBP >30 days during the past 3 months. Depression was defined as individuals with a total score >10 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 survey. The severity of depression was categorized as none (0–4), mild (5–9), moderate (10–14), moderately severe (15–19), and severe (20–27) according to PHQ-9 score. Data regarding demographics, socioeconomic history, and comorbid health conditions were used to analyze adjusted, weighted logistic regression models.Results.In the Korean population, the prevalence of depression was significantly greater in individuals with LBP (20.3%) than in those without LBP (4.5%). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, the presence of depression was significantly associated with LBP (adjusted odd ratio [aOR]: 3.93, P < 0.001). The risk of LBP increased with increasing severity of depression as follows: severe depression (aOR: 9.28, P < 0.001), moderately severe depression (aOR: 3.24, P = 0.001), moderate depression (aOR: 4.97, P < 0.001), and mild depression (aOR: 2.48, P < 0.001).Conclusion.Depression is more common in patients with LBP among Koreans. The presence of depression was significantly associated with LBP, especially in severely depressed individuals.Level of Evidence: 3

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