More than 800 million people could suffer from back pain in 2050

Home More than 800 million people could suffer from back pain in 2050
Written by Doug Hampton

(ETX Daily Up) – The aging of the population, coupled with its increase, could be the cause of a sharp increase in cases of low back pain worldwide in the coming years. A new international study estimates that 843 million people could suffer from back pain in 2050, compared to 619 million in 2020. This is the figure of the day.

A physical trauma, but also a deterioration of mental health, a lack of physical activity, and more generally a sedentary lifestyle, can be causes of low back pain, acute or chronic depending on the case, which is also called lumbago or more simply back pain. According to the Haute Autorité de Santé, low back pain “is defined by pain located between the thoraco-lumbar hinge and the lower gluteal fold”, and can occur, as we have seen, due to multiple factors. A team of international researchers, including scientists from the University of Sydney, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (G -MUSC), looked at the number of low back pain cases around the world, with global projections for the first time, analyzing no less than three decades of data.

224 million additional cases in 30 years

Published in the journal The Lancet Rheumatology, their work highlights a sharp increase in back pain cases since 2017, exceeding half a billion people to reach 619 million cases in 2020. But that’s not all, since these figures could increase significantly by 2050 to reach 843 million people worldwide. A projection made possible thanks to the analysis of data from more than 200 countries and territories between 1990 and 2020. The increase in the population, as well as its aging, would be the main reasons explaining this jump in the cases of low back pain in the world. .

“Our analysis paints a picture of the increasing cases of low back pain around the world, which is putting enormous pressure on our healthcare system. We need to establish a consistent national approach to low back pain management, based on research “, underlines Professor Manuela Ferreira, main author of the study, in a press release. Looking at the different regions of the world, the number of cases is expected to increase by almost 50% in Australia by 2050, while the largest increases will be seen in Asia and Africa. However, these projections should be taken with a grain of salt due to the lack of data for certain countries. “We know that most of the available data comes from high-income countries, which sometimes makes it difficult to interpret these results for low- and middle-income countries. We urgently need more data on back pain and musculoskeletal in [ces] country”, warn the researchers.

More common in older people

Among other findings from the study, the researchers suggest that occupational factors, smoking, and overweight account for “at least one-third of disability associated with back pain.” Moreover, this new international survey puts an end to a “misconception” that adults of working age are most likely to suffer from back pain. “Researchers say this study confirmed that low back pain is more common in older people.” Women would also be more affected than men.

“Ministries of health cannot continue to ignore the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, including low back pain. These conditions have significant social and economic consequences, especially when considering the cost of care. Now is the time to learn about effective strategies to cope with this heavy burden and to act,” said Dr. Alarcos Cieza, head of unit within the World Health Organization (WHO), at the headquarters of Geneva, relayed in a press release. And the co-authors conclude: “Low back pain remains the leading cause of disability worldwide. The socio-economic consequences of this condition are far-reaching, and the physical and personal impact directly threatens healthy aging.” So many factors to take into account to improve prevention and define new therapeutic strategies.

Leave a Comment