Background: It is generally acknowledged that low back pain (LBP) is a common condition already in childhood. However, not many studies have looked at the way LBP tracks over age and how common it is until early adulthood. The purposes of this presentation is to show how early LBP predicts later LBP. Methods: A longitudinal cohort study was carried out between 1997 and 2005, collecting interview data from children at age 10, 13, and 16. The children were sampled to be representative of Danish school children. LBP was defined as having had reported pain in the lower back within the past month. The prevalence estimates are presented as percentages and the trend over time is tested by logistic regression. The risks from various patterns of LBP reporting over time are presented with odds ratios (ORs). Results: Of the 771 children sampled, 62%, 57%, and 58% participated in the three back surveys. The three prevalence estimates of LBP were 4%, 22% and 36% (trend test: p<0.0001). Only one child reported LBP at all three ages. Among the children with LBP at the youngest age 40% reported LBP at the age of 13 whereas among the children without LBP only 21% reported LBP at the age of 13 (OR=2.5, p=0.0931). Among the 22% of the children with LBP at the middle age 49% reported LBP at the age of 16 where as among the children without LBP only 35% reported LBP at the age of 16 (OR=1.8, p=0.0314). Including both LBP at the age of 10 and at the age of 13 as predictors for LBP at the age of 16 indicated that LBP at the age of 10 did not seem to influence the LBP at 16 (OR=0.7 CI: 0.2-2.6, p=0.5806). Conclusion: This study confirmed a rapid increase in the prevalence of LBP from childhood to adolescence. There is tracking of LBP over the 3-year periods but no long term (6 years) predictability at these ages.
Low Back Pain, children, teenagers, epidemiology
Main Research Area:
Melbourne International Forum XI: Primary Care Research on Low Back Pain., 2011