OBJECTIVE: To study a possible association between lumbar spondiloarthrosis and heavy physical work. METHOD: Epidemiological transversal study was performed from October/04 to October/05 based on some cases cared for at a public hospital in São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil. Workers (1256) sent to the hospital orthopaedic service were submitted to occupational history, physical orthopedic exam and vertebral lumbar and lumbossacral radiographs in AP/P and oblique view. A total of 456 male and female workers between 28 and 48 years of age were selected according to evaluation inclusion / exclusion criteria. They were categorized according to their heavy and non-heavy work and were submitted to the diagnostic criteria of lumbar spondiloartrhosis. RESULTS: The association between heavy work and lumbar spondiloarthrosis was calculated using the prevalence ratio, which was high, evidencing a possible association. The interference of other variables as possible confounding factors, such as sex, age and body weight (BMI) were controlled in the data analysed using the Mantel-Haenzel test. The final result showed no interference of the mentioned variables. CONCLUSIONS: this study showed a possible association between heavy work exposure and lumbar spondiloarthrosis.
lumbar spondiloarthrosis; heavy physical work; non heavy physical work