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Is there an association between post-traumatic stress disorder and the incidence of chronic low back pain?
Background: Preliminary research suggests post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a risk factor for chronic low back pain (CLBP). However, this literature displays some limitations. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between PTSD and the 10-year cumulative incidence of CLBP in adults from Germany.
Methods: The present retrospective cohort study included adults diagnosed with PTSD in one of 1,284 general practices in Germany in 2005-2020 (index date). Individuals without PTSD were matched to those with PTSD (1:1) using a propensity score based on age, sex, index year, duration of follow-up, and the mean number of consultations during follow-up. In patients without PTSD, the index date was a randomly selected visit date.
Results: There were 60,664 patients included in the study. After adjusting for frequent comorbidities, there was a positive but non-significant association between PTSD and incident CLBP in the overall population (HR=1.07, 95% CI=0.99-1.15). Nonetheless, the relationship between PTSD and CLBP was statistically significant in the age group >60 years (HR=1.24, 95% CI=1.05-1.46).
Conclusions: Conversely to previous research, PTSD was not associated with incident CLBP in this large German sample. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to corroborate these findings before drawing any firm conclusions.
Publication titleJournal of Clinical Medicine
- Accepted version
- School of Education and Social Care Outputs