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Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Jul;73(7):1309-15. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204431. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

The global burden of neck pain: estimates from the global burden of disease 2010 study.

Author information

  • 1University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia.
  • 2Department of Rheumatology, University of Sydney Institute of Bone and Joint Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 3Department of Rheumatology, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, UK.
  • 4School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 5Australian Health Workforce Institute, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.
  • 6Northern Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 7University of Queensland, School of Population Health, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 8School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia.
  • 9Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
  • 10Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 11Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Institute and Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the global burden of neck pain.

METHODS:

Neck pain was defined as pain in the neck with or without pain referred into one or both upper limbs that lasts for at least 1 day. Systematic reviews were performed of the prevalence, incidence, remission, duration and mortality risk of neck pain. Four levels of severity were identified for neck pain with and without arm pain, each with their own disability weights. A Bayesian meta-regression method was used to pool prevalence and derive missing age/sex/region/year values. The disability weights were applied to prevalence values to derive the overall disability of neck pain expressed as years lived with disability (YLDs). YLDs have the same value as disability-adjusted life years as there is no evidence of mortality associated with neck pain.

RESULTS:

The global point prevalence of neck pain was 4.9% (95% CI 4.6 to 5.3). Disability-adjusted life years increased from 23.9 million (95% CI 16.5 to 33.1) in 1990 to 33.6 million (95% CI 23.5 to 46.5) in 2010. Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability as measured by YLDs, and 21st in terms of overall burden.

CONCLUSIONS:

Neck pain is a common condition that causes substantial disability. With aging global populations, further research is urgently needed to better understand the predictors and clinical course of neck pain, as well as the ways in which neck pain can be prevented and better managed.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

KEYWORDS:

Epidemiology; Health services research; Outcomes research

PMID:
24482302
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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