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J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Sep;46(9):993-8.

Psychosocial factors and low back pain, consultations, and sick leave among farmers and rural referents: a population-based study.

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  • 1Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology Sections, University Hospital, 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


Farmers have more low back pain (LBP) than nonfarmers. In a previous report, we found that differences between farmers and nonfarmers in physical work exposure did not explain the LBP differences. In this report, we tested the hypothesis that psychosocial factors might explain the differences in LBP reporting, medical consultation, and sick leave. A cross-sectional population-based survey of 1,013 middle-aged farmers and 769 matched referents was performed. Data on LBP, consultations, and sick leave during lifetime was obtained along with information on psychosocial, social network, and lifestyle variables. Several of the psychosocial variables were associated with LBP but the difference in LBP prevalence between farmers and nonfarmers could be explained only marginally. Farmers and self-employed referents tended to have lower odds of sick leave because of LBP than employed referents after adjustment for psychosocial factors.

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