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Int J Occup Environ Health. 1997 Jan;3(1):37-44.

Back Pain among U.S. Workers: Comparison of Worker Attributes According to Self-reported Causes of Back Pain.

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  • 1Division of Health Care Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, 6525 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.


Back pain is a significant health problem, especially in industry. To gain a better understanding of back pain in light of its diverse causality, data for 29,322 working adults interviewed in the Occupational Health Supplement to the 1988 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed by self-reported cause of back pain. The 12-month prevalences of back pain for "injury or repeated activities at work," "injury or repeated activities not at work," and "other reasons," were 9.1%, 4.4%, and 4.0%, respectively. The worker attributes and work impacts associated with these self-reported causes were compared for this nationally representative sample. Results from multivariate logistic regressions indicated different profiles of worker attributes among the three cause-specific subgroups of back-pain sufferers. Work impact was substantial in all cases, but was highest for workers with work-related back pain.

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