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Association Between Farm Machinery Operation and Low Back Disorder in Farmers: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Essien, Samuel Kwaku MSc; Bath, Brenna PhD; Koehncke, Niels MD; Trask, Catherine PhD; for the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study Team
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: Post Author Corrections: May 18, 2016
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000746
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: The association between whole body vibration (WBV) as measured by annual accumulated use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV)/combine/tractor operation and low back disorders (LBDs) among farmers was investigated.

Methods: Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study data was used. Baseline data were collected in 2007 on the three vehicle types and other factors. Follow-up data on LBD symptoms were collected during 2013 resulting in 1149 samples.

Results: Adjusted for age, education, and gender, LBDs were associated with tractor operation for 1 to 150 hours/year (Relative Risk [RR] = 1.23, 95%CI 1.05 to 1.44), 151 to 400 hours/year (RR = 1.32, 95%CI 114 to 1.54) and 401+ hours/year (RR = 1.34, 95%CI 1.15 to 1.56). Additionally, hip symptoms were associated with tractor operation. Only unadjusted associations were found in combine and ATV operation.

Conclusions: Duration of tractor operation and older age are important predictors of both low back and hip symptoms in farmers.

Copyright (C) 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine