One-Fifth of Patients Aged 60 to 69 Have Spinal StenosisLast Updated: July 09, 2009. The prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis increases with age, and almost one-fifth of patients aged 60 to 69 years have absolute stenosis, putting them at greater risk for lower back pain, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.
THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) increases with age, and almost one-fifth of patients aged 60 to 69 years have absolute stenosis, putting them at greater risk for lower back pain, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.
Leonid Kalichman, Ph.D., of Boston University, and colleagues conducted a study of 191 subjects who underwent computed tomography and had self-reported lower back pain in the past year. Cases of congenital and acquired LSS were categorized as relative (sagittal diameter ≤12 mm) and absolute (sagittal diameter ≤10 mm).
Among the patients with congenital LSS, 4.7 percent were found to have relative stenosis and 2.6 percent had absolute stenosis, while the proportions with the two conditions among the acquired group were 22.5 and 7.3 percent, respectively. The prevalence of acquired LSS increased with age, with prevalence among those 60 to 69 years at 47.2 percent for relative LSS and 19.4 for absolute LSS. Absolute LSS was significantly associated with lower back pain (odds ratio, 3.16).
"The very high prevalence of stenosis in the general population aged older than 60 years warns against attributing pain and neurological symptoms in this patient population to LSS based solely on the appearance of radiologic imaging studies," the authors write. "Nevertheless, absolute stenosis does appear associated with a three-fold higher risk of experiencing lower back pain."
Several authors reported financial relationships with medical and pharmaceutical companies.
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