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Eur Spine J. 2016 Apr;25(4):1188-95. doi: 10.1007/s00586-015-4055-2. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Are obesity and body fat distribution associated with low back pain in women? A population-based study of 1128 Spanish twins.

Author information

1
Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, PO Box 170, 75 East Street, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW, 2141, Australia. adar3900@sydney.edu.au.
2
The George Institute for Global Health & Institute of Bone and Joint Research/The Kolling, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Level 13, 321 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia.
3
Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, PO Box 170, 75 East Street, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW, 2141, Australia.
4
Murcia Twin Registry, Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100, Murcia, Spain.
5
IMIB-Arrixaca, HUVA Virgen de la Arrixaca, 30120, Murcia, Spain.
6
Discipline of Physiotherapy, University of Málaga, Avenida Cervantes, 2, 29071, Málaga, Spain.
7
Australian Twin Registry, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC, 3010, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the relationship between different measures of obesity and chronic low back pain (LBP) using a within-pair twin case-control design that adjusts for genetics and early shared environment.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional association between lifetime prevalence of chronic LBP and different measures of obesity (body mass index-BMI; percent body fat; waist circumference; waist-hip ratio) was investigated in 1128 female twins in three stages: (i) total sample analysis; (ii) within-pair case-control analysis for monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins together; (iii) within-pair case-control analysis separated by DZ and MZ. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.

RESULTS:

BMI (OR 1.12; 95% CI 1.02-1.26) and percent body fat (OR 1.15; 95% CI 1.01-1.32) were weakly associated with lifetime prevalence of chronic LBP in the total sample analysis but were absent when shared environment and genetic factors were adjusted for using the within-pair case-control analysis. Greater waist-hip ratios were associated with smaller prevalence estimates of chronic LBP in the within-pair case-control analysis with both MZ and DZ twins (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.47-0.94). However, this association did not remain after the full adjustment for genetic factors in the MZ within-pair case-control analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

BMI, percent of fat mass and greater depositions of fat and mass around the hips are associated with increases in chronic LBP prevalence in women but these associations are small and appear to be confounded by the effects of genetics and early shared environment. Therefore, our results do not support a causal direct relationship between obesity and chronic LBP.

KEYWORDS:

Genetics; Low back pain; Obesity; Twins

PMID:
26084786
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-015-4055-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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