Quality of Life Research

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1705–1711 | Cite as

Sex differences in the change in health-related quality of life associated with low back pain

  • Rei Ono
  • Takahiro Higashi
  • Osamu Takahashi
  • Yasuharu Tokuda
  • Takuro Shimbo
  • Hiroyoshi Endo
  • Shigeaki Hinohara
  • Tsuguya Fukui
  • Shunichi Fukuhara



To examine the sex differences in the impact of low back pain (LBP) on health-related quality of life among community-dwelling persons from a nationwide sample.


Our analysis enrolled 2,358 participants from among 3,477 randomly selected subjects in Japan. The cumulative days each individual experienced LBP were prospectively measured over 1 month. The Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) in the Short Form 8-item Health Survey were evaluated before and after the study period. Sex differences in the impact of the cumulative number of LBP days on PCS and MCS scores were evaluated using linear regression analysis.


Among the 2,170 participants with complete data, the prevalence of LBP in women (32%) was higher than that in men (25%) during the study period. One-day increases in LBP days were associated with greater decreases in PCS scores among men than among women (−0.72 vs. −0.29, sex difference P < 0.001). In contrast, no relationship was noted between the number of LBP days and the change in MCS score for either sex after adjustment.


Although a greater incidence of LBP was noted in women, health-related quality of life was more seriously affected in men with the same number of days with LBP in the month.


Low back pain Sex differences SF-8 PCS MCS 



Low back pain


Health-related quality of life


Health Diary Study


Medical Outcome Study Short Form 8-item Health Survey


Physical health component summary


Mental health component summary


Locally weighted scatter plot smoothing



The Health Diary Study was supported by a research grant from the St. Luke’s Life Science Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rei Ono
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takahiro Higashi
    • 3
  • Osamu Takahashi
    • 4
  • Yasuharu Tokuda
    • 5
  • Takuro Shimbo
    • 6
  • Hiroyoshi Endo
    • 7
  • Shigeaki Hinohara
    • 8
  • Tsuguya Fukui
    • 8
  • Shunichi Fukuhara
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesKobe University Graduate School of Health SciencesKobe, HyogoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Health Care Research, Graduate School of Medicine and Public HealthKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Public Health/Health PolicyUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineSt. Luke’s International HospitalTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Institute of Clinical Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human SciencesUniversity of TsukubaIbarakiJapan
  6. 6.Research InstituteInternational Medical Center of JapanTokyoJapan
  7. 7.Department of International Affairs and Tropical MedicineTokyo Women’s Medical University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  8. 8.St. Luke’s Life Science InstituteSt. Luke’s International HospitalTokyoJapan

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