MSK Conditions and Chronic Disease

Williams, A et al. Musculoskeletal conditions may increase the risk of chronic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. BMC: 2018
  • CVD, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases accounted for 31 million of the 56 million deaths worldwide in 2012. Obesity, now considered a chronic disease, also contributes to a high rate of morbidity and all-cause mortality.
  • MSK conditions, specifically neck and back pain and OA of the knee and hip are also a significant global health burden. Previous evidence suggests that people with MSK conditions have a two-fold chance of having chronic disease than those without
  • However, no previous studies have been systematically synthesized and a direct longitudinal relationship has not been considered
  • Studies included were longitudinal cohorts that estimated a direct association b/w neck or back pain or OA of the knee or hip with subsequent diagnosis of CVD, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or obesity
  • Of the initial 12,447 articles after duplicates removed, a total of 11 studies comprising 2,686,113 individuals were included in meta-analysis
  • The primary meta-analysis of adjusted estimates showed a statistically significant increased risk of chronic disease incidence from MSK conditions.
  • Two individual studies of back pain found that those with back pain had an increased risk for CVD and cancer. The one study that assessed neck pain found that those with neck pain had an increased risk of cancer.
  • Combining all MSK conditions as the exposure and CVD as the outcome revealed a statistically significant increased risk of CVD.
  • Overall, this meta-analysis revealed that people with back or neck pain and OA of the hip or knee have a 17% increased risk of developing a chronic disease compared to people without an MSK condition.
  • Persons just with OA have a 16% increased risk of developing CVD compared to people without.
  • The results suggest that prevention and early effective treatment of MSK conditions such ad neck and back pain and OA may play a role in preventing other chronic diseases