A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 64, Issue 6, pages 2028–2037, June 2012
How to Cite
Hoy, D., Bain, C., Williams, G., March, L., Brooks, P., Blyth, F., Woolf, A., Vos, T. and Buchbinder, R. (2012), A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 64: 2028–2037. doi: 10.1002/art.34347
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 JAN 2012 11:56AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 10 MAY 2011
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing
- Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Numbers: Postgraduate Scholarship 569772, Practitioner Fellowships 334010 [2005–2009], 606429 [2010–2014]
To perform a systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain, and to examine the influence that case definition, prevalence period, and other variables have on prevalence.
We conduced a new systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain that included general population studies published between 1980 and 2009. A total of 165 studies from 54 countries were identified. Of these, 64% had been published since the last comparable review.
Low back pain was shown to be a major problem throughout the world, with the highest prevalence among female individuals and those aged 40–80 years. After adjusting for methodologic variation, the mean ± SEM point prevalence was estimated to be 11.9 ± 2.0%, and the 1-month prevalence was estimated to be 23.2 ± 2.9%.
As the population ages, the global number of individuals with low back pain is likely to increase substantially over the coming decades. Investigators are encouraged to adopt recent recommendations for a standard definition of low back pain and to consult a recently developed tool for assessing the risk of bias of prevalence studies.