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Recurrent back pain during working life and exit from paid employment: a 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study

Recurrent back pain during working life and exit from paid employment: a 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study
Recurrent back pain during working life and exit from paid employment: a 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study
Objectives: to examine the impact of recurrent, as compared with single, reports of back pain on exit from paid employment over decades of follow-up.

Methods: the study sample was from the British Whitehall II Study cohort (n=8665, 69% men, aged 35–55 at baseline), who had provided information about their reports of back pain between 1985 and 1994. Data about exit from paid employment (health-related and non-health related exit, unemployment and other exit) were collected between 1995 and 2013. Repeated measures logistic regression models were fitted to examine the associations, and adjust for covariates.

Results: recurrent pain was reported by 18% of participants, while 26% reported pain on an occasion and 56% did not report pain. Report of back pain on an occasion was not associated with health-related job exit, whereas recurrent pain was associated with such an exit (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.99), when compared with those who did not report pain. These associations were somewhat stronger among middle-grade and lower-grade employees, while these associations were not seen among higher-grade employees. Differences in associations by age and psychosocial working conditions were small.

Conclusions: these results highlight the need for early detection of recurrent back pain to prevent exit out of paid employment for health reasons. As the risk varies by occupational grade, this emphasises the importance of identification of high-risk groups and finding ways to address their modifiable risk factors.
1351-0711
786-791
Lallukka, Tea
98e087ba-42d9-4fc7-b4bc-09629d035c4a
Manty, Minna
9a2cffcb-a320-4a7c-ae16-669c572cc626
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Fleischmann, Maria
b4667902-3b60-41b1-9898-ef2760019f49
Kouvonen, Anne
584b8987-65b8-4080-91d8-fa3566b77846
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Head, Jenny
5efec164-98e5-4547-aebd-7c950434b4da
Halonen, Janna I
bc977161-c4ab-4a44-bf3e-5799fcb6f00f
Lallukka, Tea
98e087ba-42d9-4fc7-b4bc-09629d035c4a
Manty, Minna
9a2cffcb-a320-4a7c-ae16-669c572cc626
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Fleischmann, Maria
b4667902-3b60-41b1-9898-ef2760019f49
Kouvonen, Anne
584b8987-65b8-4080-91d8-fa3566b77846
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Head, Jenny
5efec164-98e5-4547-aebd-7c950434b4da
Halonen, Janna I
bc977161-c4ab-4a44-bf3e-5799fcb6f00f

Lallukka, Tea, Manty, Minna, Cooper, Cyrus, Fleischmann, Maria, Kouvonen, Anne, Walker-Bone, Karen, Head, Jenny and Halonen, Janna I (2018) Recurrent back pain during working life and exit from paid employment: a 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 75 (11), 786-791. (doi:10.1136/oemed-2018-105202).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: to examine the impact of recurrent, as compared with single, reports of back pain on exit from paid employment over decades of follow-up.

Methods: the study sample was from the British Whitehall II Study cohort (n=8665, 69% men, aged 35–55 at baseline), who had provided information about their reports of back pain between 1985 and 1994. Data about exit from paid employment (health-related and non-health related exit, unemployment and other exit) were collected between 1995 and 2013. Repeated measures logistic regression models were fitted to examine the associations, and adjust for covariates.

Results: recurrent pain was reported by 18% of participants, while 26% reported pain on an occasion and 56% did not report pain. Report of back pain on an occasion was not associated with health-related job exit, whereas recurrent pain was associated with such an exit (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.99), when compared with those who did not report pain. These associations were somewhat stronger among middle-grade and lower-grade employees, while these associations were not seen among higher-grade employees. Differences in associations by age and psychosocial working conditions were small.

Conclusions: these results highlight the need for early detection of recurrent back pain to prevent exit out of paid employment for health reasons. As the risk varies by occupational grade, this emphasises the importance of identification of high-risk groups and finding ways to address their modifiable risk factors.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425526
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425526
ISSN: 1351-0711
PURE UUID: 5bffd3ae-3973-457e-8d55-e70fbb26ad06
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459

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Date deposited: 23 Oct 2018 16:30
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:58

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