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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


MALTA, Deborah Carvalho et al. Factors associated with chronic back pain in adults in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2017, vol.51, suppl.1, 9s.  Epub June 01, 2017. ISSN 1518-8787.


To identify associations of chronic back pain with sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyles, body mass index, self-reported chronic diseases and health assessment, according to sex.


We analyzed data from the 2013 National Health Survey, estimated the prevalence and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) of chronic back pain, according to selected variables and performed adjustment by age and education.


18.5% of the Brazilian population reported chronic back pain, 15.5% (95%CI 14.7–16.4) of them being men and 21.1% (95%CI 20.2–22.0) being women. The characteristics that remained associated and statistically significant (p < 0.05) after adjustment, in men, were: age group, higher in men with 65 years or older (ORa = 6.06); low education level; living in rural area; history of smoking, high salt intake, increase in the time of heavy physical activity at work and at home; being overweight (ORa = 1.18) or obese (ORa = 1.26); diagnostic of hypertension (ORa = 1.42), high cholesterol (ORa = 1.60); and worse health assessment in comparison with very good (good [ORa = 1.48]; regular [ORa = 3.22]; poor [ORa = 5.00], very poor [ORa = 8.60]). Among women, they were: increase with age, higher among women with 55-64 years (ORa = 3.64); low education level; history of smoking, regular candy consumption, high salt intake, heavy physical activity at work and at home and increase in the time of these activities; being overweight (ORa = 1.23) or obese (ORa = 1.32); diagnosis of hypertension (ORa = 1.50), high cholesterol (ORa = 1.84); and worse health assessment than very good (good [ORa = 1.43]; regular [ORa = 3.16]; poor [ORa = 5.44], very poor [ORa = 8.19]).


Our findings point out differences by sex and contribute to the knowledge of the panorama of chronic back pain, which, besides affecting individuals, generate negative socioeconomic impacts, by causing work-related disabilities and hindering everyday activities.

Keywords : Adult; Low Back Pain, epidemiology; Diagnostic Self Evaluation; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Health Surveys.

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