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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 149.
Published online Mar 1, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-149
PMCID: PMC3328269
Prevalence of low back pain and associated occupational factors among Chinese coal miners
Guangxing Xu,1,2 Dong Pang,3 Fengying Liu,1 Desheng Pei,1 Sheng Wang,4 and Liping Licorresponding author1
1Injury Prevention Research Center, Medical College of Shantou University, 22 XinLing Road, Shantou 515041, China
2Shantou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 58 Shanfen Road, Shantou 515041, China
3Institute of Health Research, University of Bedfordshire, Putteridge Bury, Luton LU2 8LE, UK
4Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing 100089, China
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Guangxing Xu: xuguangxing2005122/at/163.com; Dong Pang: dong.pang/at/beds.ac.uk; Fengying Liu: huiyiyun123/at/sina.com; Desheng Pei: bailiazhu/at/126.com; Sheng Wang: shengw/at/bjmu.edu.cn; Liping Li: lpli/at/stu.edu.cn
Received August 8, 2011; Accepted March 1, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Very few studies have evaluated the association between occupational factors and low back pain (LBP) among miners. The epidemiological data on LBP in Chinese miners are limited. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of low back pain in Chinese coal miners and to investigate the role of occupational factors.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine 1573 coal miners in northern China. The prevalence of LBP over a 12-month period was assessed using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. Odds ratios were calculated to examine the association between the prevalence of LBP over a 12-month period and occupational factors using logistic regression.
Results
Among the coal miners, 64.9% self-reported LBP in a 12-month period. Occupational factors associated with LBP were identified, including tasks with a high degree of repetitiveness (OR 1.3, 95%CI 1.0-1.6), tasks characterized by a high level of physical demand (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8), posture requiring extreme bending (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-1.7) and insufficient recovery time (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.8).
Conclusion
Low back pain is common among Chinese miners. There were strong associations with occupational factors.
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