An epidemiologic study of lifting and twisting on the job and risk for acute prolapsed lumbar intervertebral disc

Authors

  • Dr. Jennifer L. Kelsey,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    2. Division of Epidemiology, Columbia University School of Public Health, New York, New York
    • Columbia University School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, 600 West 168th Street, New York, New York 10032
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  • Penny B. Githens,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Augustus A. White III,

    1. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Theodore R. Holford,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Stephen D. Walter,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    2. Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
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  • Theresa O'Connor,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Adrian M. Ostfeld,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Ulrich Weil,

    1. Section of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Wayne O. Southwick,

    1. Section of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • John A. Calogero

    1. Department of Neurological Surgery, St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut
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Abstract

An epidemiologic case-control study undertaken in Connecticut during 1979–1981 indicated that persons with jobs requiring lifting objects of more than 11.3 kg (25 lb) an average of more than 25 times per day had over three times the risk for acute prolapsed lumbar intervertebral disc as people whose jobs did not involve lifting objects of this weight. If the body was usually twisted while the lifting was done, this elevation in risk was apparent with less frequent lifting. An especially high risk for prolapsed lumbar disc was associated with jobs involving lifting objects of more than 11.3 kg with the body usually twisted and the knees not bent while the lifting was done. Neither lifting objects of less than 11.3 kg nor twisting without lifting was associated with an increase in risk.

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