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Early life illness factors as potential risk factors for back pain in adolescence and young adulthood

Beynon, Amber Morgan (2021) Early life illness factors as potential risk factors for back pain in adolescence and young adulthood. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting mainly adults but also children. Associations between chronic inflammatory conditions and low back pain have been found frequently in older populations. However, the nature of these relationships in younger populations is unknown.

The overall objective of this thesis was to investigate if early life illness factors such as childhood illnesses are risk factors for back pain in adolescence or young adulthood. Our plan involved three parts. Part 1: Literature reviews. Part 2: Analyses of longitudinal data from the Raine Study. Part 3: Analyses of longitudinal data from the CHAMPS Study-DK.

Through a two-part scoping review and a systematic review, we found that the most likely risk factors for incident back pain in young people are female sex, older age, psychological distress, and psychological features including emotional coping problems. Based on the findings of the Raine Study analyses we found that children with respiratory or atopic conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, and those with several chronic inflammatory conditions are at increased odds of impactful low back pain in adolescence and young adulthood. Based on the findings of the CHAMPS Study-DK we found there were limited associations between cardiovascular disease risk factors and spinal pain in children and adolescents until the moderating role of health-related physical activity was considered. Furthermore, within both these young cohorts there did not appear to be any association between the inflammatory blood marker C-reactive protein and back pain.

We concluded that there is some evidence that early life illness factors are risk factors for back pain in young populations, but more evidence is needed to determine if this involves a causal relationship. There appears to be an association between cardiovascular disease risk factors and spinal pain, however this relationship is dependent on sex, age, and health-related physical activity behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Supervisor(s): Walker, Bruce, Hebert, Jeffrey, Leboeuf-Yde, Charlotte, Armson, Anthony and Innes, Stanley
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/61058
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