Contributions of birthweight, annualised weight gain and BMI to back pain in adults: a population-based co-twin control study of 2754 Australian twins
To investigate associations between anthropometric measures (birthweight, weight gain and current BMI) and back pain; and to determine whether these associations differ between those born with low or full birthweight.
The cross-sectional associations between the lifetime prevalence of back pain and anthropometric measures (birthweight, weight gain and current BMI) among 2754 adult twins were investigated in three stages: total sample; within-pair case–control for monozygotic and dizygotic twins together; and within-pair case–control analysis separated by dizygotic and monozygotic. Results were expressed as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Birthweight was not associated with back pain (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.99–1.00), but a weak association was found between weight gain (OR 1.01; CI 1.00–1.01) or current BMI (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.05) and back pain in the total sample analysis. These associations did not remain significant after adjusting for genetics. The associations did not differ between those whose were born with low or full birthweight.
Birthweight was not associated with prevalence of back pain in adulthood. Weight gain and current BMI were weakly associated with back pain prevalence in the total sample analysis but did not differ between those born with low or full birthweight. However, the small-magnitude association only just achieved significance and appeared to be confounded by genetics and the early shared environment. Our results suggest that a direct link between these predictors and back pain in adults is unlikely.
KeywordsBirthweight BMI Twins Back pain Genetics
HRL and LCF were supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) Foundation, Ministry of Education, Brazil. MLF holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship and is a Sydney Medical Foundation Fellow. PHF is a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellow. This research was facilitated through access to Twins Research Australia, a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant (ID: 1079102), from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
- 2.AIWH (2016) Australian Institute of Health and WelfareGoogle Scholar
- 13.Garzillo M, Garzillo T (1994) Does obesity cause low back pain? J Manip Physiol Ther 17(9):601–604Google Scholar
- 15.Shiri R, Solovieva S, Husgafvel-Pursiainen K, Telama R, Yang X, Viikari J, Raitakari OT, Viikari-Juntura E (2013) The role of obesity and physical activity in non-specific and radiating low back pain: the Young Finns study. In: Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, vol 6. Elsevier, pp 640–650Google Scholar
- 23.Yokoyama Y, Jelenkovic A, Sund R, Sung J, Hopper JL, Ooki S, Heikkilä K, Aaltonen S, Tarnoki AD, Tarnoki DL (2016) Twin’s birth-order differences in height and body mass index from birth to old age: a pooled study of 26 twin cohorts participating in the CODATwins project. Twin Res Hum Genet 19(2):112–124CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 24.Organization WH (2014) Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutritionGoogle Scholar
- 28.Kessler R, Mroczek D (1994) Final versions of our non-specific psychological distress scale. Memo dated March 10:1994Google Scholar