You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

The Effect of Body Mass Index on Recovery and Return to Work After Onset of Work-Related Low Back Pain

Shaw, William S. PhD; Tveito, Torill H. PhD; Woiszwillo, Mary Jane BS; Pransky, Glenn MD, MOccH

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823ea80f
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: To assess the effect of body mass index (BMI) on pain and function outcomes in the acute and subacute stages of work-related low back pain (LBP).

Methods: A prospective cohort of working-age patients (410 male, 197 female) with recent onset LBP (≤14 days' duration) provided height and weight as part of a study of prognostic factors for back disability. Self-reported pain, functional limitation, and work status were assessed at 1- and 3-month follow-ups.

Results: BMI (kg/m2) was used to categorize participants as normal (31%), overweight (40%), or obese (29%). In prediction analyses, outcomes of pain, functional limitation, and return to work showed no significant variation (P > 0.05) by BMI, with or without controlling for potential confounds.

Conclusions: BMI is not a useful prognostic factor during the acute and subacute stages of work-related LBP.

Author Information

From the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (Drs Shaw, Tveito, and Pransky, and Ms Woiszwillo), Hopkinton, Mass; University of Massachusetts Medical School (Drs Shaw and Pransky), Worcester, Mass; Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Tveito), Boston, Mass; and UniHealth (Dr Tveito), Bergen, Norway.

Address correspondence to: William S. Shaw, PhD, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 71 Frankland Rd, Hopkinton, MA 01748 (william.shaw@libertymutual.com).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine