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Spine J. 2017 Jul;17(7):905-912. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.02.009. Epub 2017 Mar 4.

Chronic low back pain and the risk of depression or anxiety symptoms: insights from a longitudinal twin study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, 75 East St, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia. Electronic address: mfer4234@uni.sydney.edu.au.
2
Murcia Twin Registry, Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, University of Murcia and IMIB-Arrixaca, 30100 Murcia, Spain; Quantitative Genetics Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, 300 Herston Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia.
3
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55 DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark; Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55 DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.
4
The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Level 5, 1 King St, Newtown, Sydney, NSW 2042, Australia; Institute of Bone and Joint Research, The Kolling Institute, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, 75 East St, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia.
6
Murcia Twin Registry, Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, University of Murcia and IMIB-Arrixaca, 30100 Murcia, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

Pain is commonly associated with symptoms of depression or anxiety, although this relationship is considered bidirectional. There is limited knowledge regarding causal relationships.

PURPOSE:

This study aims to investigate whether chronic low back pain (LBP) increases the risk of depression or anxiety symptoms, after adjusting for shared familial factors.

STUDY DESIGN:

This is a longitudinal, genetically informative study design from the Murcia Twin Registry in Spain.

PATIENT SAMPLE:

The patient sample included 1,269 adult twins with a mean age of 53 years.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The outcome of depression or anxiety symptoms was evaluated with EuroQol questionnaire.

METHODS:

Using logistic regression analyses, twins were initially assessed as individuals in the total sample analysis, followed by a co-twin case-control, which was partially (dizygotic [DZ] twins) and fully (monozygotic [MZ] twins) adjusted for shared familial factors. There was no external funding for this study and no conflict of interest was declared.

RESULTS:

There was a significant association between chronic LBP and the risk of depression or anxiety symptoms in the unadjusted total sample analysis (odds ratio [OR]: 1.81, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34-2.44). After adjusting for confounders, the association remained significant (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.05-1.95), although the adjusted co-twin case-control was non-significant in DZ (OR: 1.03, 95% CI: 0.50-2.13) and MZ twins (OR: 1.86, 95% CI: 0.63-5.51).

CONCLUSIONS:

The relationship between chronic LBP and the future development of depression or anxiety symptoms is not causal. The relationship is likely to be explained by confounding from shared familial factors, given the non-statistically significant associations in the co-twin case-control analyses.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Chronic low back pain; Depression; Epidemiology; Genetics; Twins

PMID:
28267634
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2017.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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