Role of overweight and obesity in low back disorders among men: a longitudinal study with a life course approach.
Sommaire de l'article
Objectives To assess the association between being overweight or obese with low back pain (LBP) and clinically defined low back disorders across the life course.
Design A longitudinal and cross-sectional study.
Setting A nationwide health survey supplemented with data from records of prior compulsory military service.
Participants Premilitary health records (baseline) were searched for men aged 30–50 years (n=1385) who participated in a national health examination survey (follow-up).
Methods and outcome measures Height and weight were measured at baseline and follow-up, and waist circumference at follow-up. Weight at the ages of 20, 30, 40 and 50 years were ascertained, when applicable. Repeated measures of weight were used to calculate age-standardised mean body mass index (BMI) across the life course. The symptom-based outcome measures at follow-up included prevalence of non-specific and radiating LBP during the previous 30 days. The clinically defined outcome measures included chronic low back syndrome and sciatica.
Results Baseline BMI (20 years) predicted radiating LBP in adulthood, with the prevalence ratio (PR) being 1.26 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.46) for one SD (3.0 kg/m2) increase in BMI. Life course BMI was associated with radiating LBP (PR=1.23; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.48 per 1 unit increment in Z score, corresponding to 2.9 kg/m2). The development of obesity during follow-up increased the risk of radiating LBP (PR=1.91, 95% CI 1.03 to 3.53). Both general and abdominal obesity (defined as waist-to-height ratio) were associated with radiating LBP (OR=1.64, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.65 and 1.44, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.04). No associations were seen for non-specific LBP.
Conclusions Our findings imply that being overweight or obese in early adulthood as well as during the life course increases the risk of radiating but not non-specific LBP among men. Taking into account the current global obesity epidemic, emphasis should be placed on preventive measures starting at youth and, also, measures for preventing further weight gain during the life course should be implemented.