Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of back pain and neck pain and their relationship with the quality of life in the Croatian general population.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using home-based face-to-face interviews of 1030 participants (51.6% females) 15 years or older. Back and neck pain frequencies were assessed using single items and quality of life using the Short Form Survey and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Analysis of covariance was conducted, where back pain or neck pain frequency was used as the categorical predictor; physical component summary or mental component summary, as the dependent variable; and age, body mass index, and physical activity level, as covariates.
Results: The prevalence of back pain was 66.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 62.3%-70.3%) and 62.9% (95% CI, 58.7%-67.2%) in females and males, respectively. The prevalence of neck pain was 58.0% (95% CI, 53.8%-62.2%) for females and 53.6 (95% CI, 49.2%-58.0%) for males. Differences between men and women were not significant (P > .05). Adjusted mean values for physical component summary and mental component summary were substantially lower in participants who reported back or neck pain often/almost always compared with those without pain. Differences ranged from 8.11 to 11.86 points (95% CI, 5.54-13.99) and from 9.61 to 10.99 points (95% CI, 7.35-13.45) in females and males, respectively.
Conclusions: The findings of this study showed that back and neck pain are highly prevalent and negatively related to quality of life in the Croatian general population. These data might raise the awareness of local government health authorities and lead to improvements in health care service for people with back and neck pain.
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