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Mymensingh Med J. 2014 Jan;23(1):125-9.

Influence of body mass index on low back pain.

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Dr Dhiman Chowdury, Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Bangabandhu sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Shahbagh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Low back pain (LBP) is a common problem affecting 70% of the population in the developed countries and prevalence is also increasing in the developing countries. We conducted a clinic based cross-sectional study in the city of Dhaka and Chittagong during the period of January 2009 to December 2011. Participants (n=357) were interviewed and examined through a structured questionnaire after a non purposive sampling to explore the influence of body mass index (BMI) on LBP. BMI was assessed by the equation weight (Kg)/hight² (m²) and LBP was assessed by modified visual analogue scale. Association between LBP and BMI was tested by Chi-square test. Among 357 patients the incidence of LBP was common in the age group between 40-59 years and it was 172(48.17%) followed by 60-79, 20-39 and ≥80 years group with 21.29%, 17.65% and 12.89% respectively. Female presented more with LBP, i.e. 196(54.91%) than the male 161(45.09%). The more study population was found to have BMI within normal range, i.e. 167(46.78%). This was followed by overweight group which amounted 137(38.37%) while the obese group was the least, i.e. 53(14.85%). Maximum study population presented with severe LBP which amounted 140(39.22%) while others presented with moderate and mild LBP and amounting 118(33.05%) and 99(27.73%) respectively. Among the normal BMI group most patient presented with mild pain (n=82) followed by moderate (n=55) and severe (n=30) pain. Participants with overweight presents with severe pain mostly (n=58) but obese participants presented with severe low back pain (n=25). Statistically the association of LBP with BMI was found to be highly significant (p<0.0001). In this study, 137(46.78%) participants of normal BMI presented with LBP but majorities (n=82) presented with mild LBP and overweight and obese participants mostly presented with severe LBP. On the basis of these findings, careful evaluation of risk factors and deliberate assessment of the therapeutic as well as preventive measure for the management of patient of LBP is highly recommended.

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