454: Epidemiology of spinal pain in children: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Joergensen AC, Hestbaek L, Andersen PK, Nybo Andersen AM.
European Journal of Pediatrics. 2019;178(5):695-706 [Epub 2019 Feb 20]


This study aims to describe the prevalence of spinal pain among Danish children, explore the differential nature of spinal pain, and investigate socio-demographic factors predisposing spinal pain. A descriptive study of 46,726 11-14-year-olds participating in the Danish National Birth Cohort was conducted. Self-reported spinal pain (neck, middle back, and low back pain) was registered and classified according to severity. Socioeconomic data on children and their parents were identified in Statistics Denmark registers. Associations between socio-demographic factors and aspects of spinal pain were estimated using multinomial logistic regression models. To account for sample selection, inverse probability weighting (IPW) was applied. Almost 10% boys and 14% girls reported severe spinal pain, whereas around 30% of all children reported moderate pain. Effect estimates indicated the risk to increase with increasing age. Further, children without biological full siblings, not living with both of their parents, or children living in less-educated or lower-income families were more likely to experience spinal pain. The study conclusions were essentially unaffected by IPW.Conclusion: A considerable number of children suffer from spinal pain, and it is more common among children in more disadvantaged families. Etiology of spinal pain needs to be explored further with the aim of informing efficient and targeted prevention. What is Known: • Childhood spinal pain may cause marked discomfort and impairment in children's everyday life, and is suggested as important predictor of later-in-life spinal pain. • Methodological heterogeneity in previous studies and complexity of measuring pain make inferences at a broader level inadequate. What is New: • Prevalence of severe spinal pain in 11-14-year-olds was estimated to almost 10% for boys and 14% for girls, and children in more disadvantaged families were more likely to experience spinal pain. • The results seemed unaffected by sample selection.

Keywords: Back pain; Epidemiology; Neck pain; School children; Socio-demographic risk factors; Spinal pain.

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