Methods: This study evaluated longitudinal Medical Expenditures Panel Survey data (data pooled for survey calendar years 2000-2006). Comparisons were made between adult Medical Expenditures Panel Survey respondents identified as having a back pain condition (n = 10 194) compared with those without back pain but with other health condition (n = 45 541) and those with no back pain and no other condition (n = 5497).
Results: Compared with individuals with no health problems, those with back pain were almost 8 times more likely (odds ratio, 7.8; P < .001) to report having a USC, and those with other health problems besides back pain were 5 times more likely (odds ratio, 5.4; P < .001). For those with a USC, individuals with back pain and those with other problems but not back pain were both approximately one-and-a-half times more likely than those without any health problems to report a specific provider type as their USC (P < .001).
Conclusion: Study findings suggest that relatively healthy adults without back pain are less likely to have a USC than those with back pain or other health problems.
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