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Real-world incidence and prevalence of low back pain using routinely collected data

Fatoye, F and Gebrye, T and Odeyemi, I (2019) Real-world incidence and prevalence of low back pain using routinely collected data. Rheumatology International, 39 (4). pp. 619-626. ISSN 0172-8172

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Abstract

Low back pain (LBP) is a common health problem among adults of working age population, and its prevalence or incidence increases with increasing in age. The purpose of this review was to examine the real-world prevalence or incidence of LBP. A systematic review of the literature was conducted in accordance to the PRISMA guideline. Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, MEDLINE, SportDiscuss and Scopus electronic databases were searched using specifically developed search strategies to identify studies using patients’ electronic medical records published in English up to February 2019. The quality of the included studies was assessed using a tool that consists of ten items addressing a risk of bias. The search yielded 756 published studies, of which 13 were deemed relevant and were included in this review. The included studies reported incidence or prevalence data from Canada, United States of America (USA), Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Israel, and Netherlands. All the included studies were assessed to be methodologically sound (low risk of bias). The prevalence and incidence of LBP ranged from 1.4 to 20.0% and 0.024–7.0%, respectively. Three studies reported that the Odds of LBP in male patient was higher than their female counterparts (odds ratio > 1; range 1.11–17.29). Nine studies identified the risk factors of LBP to be age, sex, and race. The remaining four studies also listed high intensity of physical activity, high spinal load, lifting, bending, and twisting as the risk factors for LBP. The results of this study highlighted there is a substantial difference within studies that estimated the prevalence and incidence of LBP. This finding could inform healthcare policy makers to critically examine the data sources of prevalence and incidence studies; this in return might help for resource allocation to manage the condition.

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