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Original Article
Risk factors for low back pain among elementary school students in western Iran using penalized logistic regression
Forouzan Rezapur-Shahkolai, Elham Gheysvandi, Leili Tapak, Iman Dianat, Akram Karimi-Shahanjarini, Rashid Heidarimoghadam
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020039.   Published online June 2, 2020
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  • 7 Web of Science
  • 10 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
This study investigated the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and its risk factors among elementary-school students.
In this cross-sectional study, 693 elementary students from Hamadan city, western Iran, were selected by multistage stratified cluster sampling. Data were collected through interviews using questionnaires. Posture and psychosocial elements were assessed using the observational Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) checklist and the standard Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, respectively. Penalized logistic regression with the group smoothly-clipped absolute deviation regularization method was used for variable selection and data analysis (α=0.05). The chi-square test was also used.
In total, 26.6% of the students (7-12 years old) reported LBP in the last month. Older age (odds ratio [OR], 3.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.80 to 5.26), watching TV for more than 3 hours a day (OR, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.46 to 4.68), very short seat backrests (OR, 3.08; 95% CI, 1.61 to 5.90), excessively curved seat backrests (OR, 4.36; 95% CI, 2.08 to 9.13), very short desks (OR, 3.44; 95% CI, 1.61 to 7.35), a family history of LBP (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.58 to 3.91), carrying a school bag on one shoulder (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.03 to 3.54), and RULA scores of 3 (OR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.13 to 4.50) or 4 (OR, 2.85; 95% CI, 1.37 to 5.91) were associated with LBP.
A high prevalence of LBP was found among elementary-school students. This study underscores the importance of recognizing vulnerable children and teenagers and developing interventional health promotion programs to prevent LBP based on an appropriate consideration of its contributory factors.


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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health