Design: Prospective nonrelational study.
Setting:. Hospital-based multidisciplinary spinal pain unit.
Subjects: 152 consecutive patients (71 males, 81 females) with chronic spinal pain attending the unit. Method.. The Body Mass Index (BMI) of patients was assessed over a six-month period.
Main Outcome Measure: Comparison with the BMI of the general population as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Results: The average BMI of patients (26.3) was found to be identical to that of the general population', 52.6% of patients with chronic spinal pain were overweight or obese, compared with 55.5% of the general population. The average patient in the study was aged 42, with a 7.4-year history of significant spinal pain, and about 3-4 kg above the upper limit of ideal weight.
Conclusions: These results do not support the concept that patients with chronic spinal pain are more overweight than the general population, or with the possible exception of morbidly obese individuals, that excess weight is a significant factor in the pathogenesis of chronic spinal pain.
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