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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Akhtar 2011.

Risk factors for back pain in the young: weight and psychological issues

updated
Akhtar MA, Clark A, Atiya S, Chirputkar K, Ayana G, Smith S. Severe back pain - risk factors. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Dec;45(15):A16. PubMed #22077015.
Tags: back pain, etiology, pain problems, spine, pro

PainSci summary of Akhtar 2011?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This study attempted to compare risk factors in younger and older back pain patients. The researchers considered occupation, BMI, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and psychological history. There were both male and female, employed and unemployed. Younger patients with severe back pain were overweight, and had more history with pscyhological issues, compared to older patients. “There was no difference in the occupation status, smoking and alcohol consumption in both groups.”

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Back pain is a common problem in all age groups. Different risk factors have been identified including high BMI, Smoking, alcohol, and psychological history. The aim of our study was to identify if there was a difference in the incidence of these risk factors in different age groups. We collected data prospectively for 26 consecutive patients admitted between January and March 2011 with severe back pain who needed an MRI scan to rule out Cauda equina syndrome or nerve root compression in a district general hospital. Demographic details were recorded along with their occupation, BMI, Smoking status, alcohol intake and psychological history. Group A (Younger Group) had 13 patients with a mean age of 38 y (range 29-44). 7 (54%) were female and 6 (46%) male. 6 (46%) were employed, 4 (30%) unemployed and 2 (15%) housewives. The mean BMI was 29 (range 24-40). 7 patients (54%) were smokers and alcohol users and 6 (46%) were non-smoker and non-alcohol users. 5 patients (38%) had associated psychological history. Group B (Older group) had 13 patients with a mean age of 59 years (range 45-79). 11 (85%) were female and 2 (15%) male. 5 (38%) were employed, 2 (15%) retired and 3 (23%) house-wives. The mean BMI was 21 (range-14-32). 6 patients (46%) were smoker and 7 (54%) enjoyed alcohol. Only 2 patients (15%) had associated psychological history. Younger patients with severe back pain were overweight (mean BMI-29) and had higher incidence of psychological history (38%) as compared to older patients (15%). There was no difference in the occupation status, smoking and alcohol consumption in both groups. Younger patients with severe back pain should be routinely assessed for associated psychological history and appropriate advice on weight management should be given.


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