Family members share risk factors for lower back disorders: study

Elk Grove Village, IL – Family members tend to have similar work and lifestyle factors that influence their risk for disability due to lower back disorders, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

More than 16,000 Finnish twins were studied from 1975 to 2004. According to the study abstract, risk factors such as monotonous work, lifting and carrying, physically heavy labor, and unemployment were linked to a higher risk for disability, while a healthy lifestyle was associated with a lower risk. In most cases, risk factors were due to family background or shared factors among the twins.

Researchers said the findings suggest it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle early in life to avoid disability; however, they noted the research was limited by the small number of pairs with only one disabled twin.

The study appeared in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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