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Clinically Significant Weight Gain 1 Year After Occupational Back Injury

Keeney, Benjamin J. PhD; Fulton-Kehoe, Deborah PhD, MPH; Wickizer, Thomas M. PhD; Turner, Judith A. PhD; Chan, Kwun Chuen Gary PhD; Franklin, Gary M. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 318–324
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827943c6
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the incidence of clinically significant weight gain 1 year after occupational back injury, and risk factors for that gain.

Methods: A cohort of Washington State workers with wage-replacement benefits for back injuries completed baseline and 1-year follow-up telephone interviews. We obtained additional measures from claims and medical records.

Results: Among 1263 workers, 174 (13.8%) reported clinically significant weight gain (≥7%) 1 year after occupational back injury. Women and workers who had more than 180 days on wage replacement at 1 year were twice as likely (adjusted odds ratio = 2.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.54 to 3.07; adjusted odds ratio = 2.40, 95% confidence interval = 1.63 to 3.53, respectively; both P < 0.001) to have clinically significant weight gain.

Conclusions: Women and workers on wage replacement for more than 180 days may be susceptible to clinically significant weight gain after occupational back injury.

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From the Department of Orthopaedics (Dr Keeney), Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH; Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (Dr Fulton-Kehoe), School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash; Division of Health Services Management and Policy (Dr Wickizer), College of Public Health, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Turner) and Departments of Biostatistics and Health Services (Dr Chan), School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash; and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (Dr Franklin), Olympia, Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, and Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Benjamin J. Keeney, PhD, Department of Orthopaedics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Box 7541, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Dr, Lebanon, NH 03756 (

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical devices or drugs.

Federal (CDCP/NIOSH) funds were received in support of this work via grant R01-OH04069. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine