Contributions of birthweight, annualised weight gain and BMI to back pain in adults: a population-based co-twin control study of 2754 Australian twins

Contributions of birthweight, annualised weight gain and BMI to back pain in adults: a population-based co-twin control study of 2754 Australian twins

Hercules R. Leite, Amabile B. Dario, Alison R. Harmer, Vinicius C. Oliveira, Manuela L. Ferreira, Lucas Calais-Ferreira, Paulo H. Ferreira

February 2019, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 224 - 233
DOI
10.1007/s00586-018-5850-3
First Online: 06 December 2018
Abstract

Purpose

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.

Methods

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).

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]