Prolonged Disability Predictors Identified for Low Back Pain

Pain-related disability at one year tied to impaired fasting glucose tolerance, BMI, QoL, baseline pain

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP), impaired fasting glucose tolerance, greater pain-related disability, higher body mass index, and lower quality of life (QoL) at baseline are all associated with an increased pain-related disability at one year, according to a study published online June 20 in Spine.

Philip Wilkens, M.Chiro., of the Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues conducted a one-year prospective cohort study involving 250 primary care patients with chronic nonspecific LBP lasting six months or longer and degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis. Potential predictors of pain-related disability were assessed at baseline, and the correlation between potential predictors and outcome was analyzed.

The researchers found that fasting glucose levels ≥6.1 mmol/L, body mass index, and pain-related disability at baseline were associated with higher pain-related disability at one year. Similarly, QoL, as measured by EuroQoL-index and EuroQoL-visual analog scale, was also significantly associated with higher pain-related disability levels. Imaging findings, modic changes, and high-intensity zones were not shown to have any predictive ability.

"Our study findings highlight the multifactorial complexity of LBP as diverse range of predictors like impaired fasting glucose, QoL, baseline disability and obesity were significant predictors of poor disability," the authors write.

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