The association between musculoskeletal disorders and obesity

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Kortt, M & Baldry, J 2002, 'The association between musculoskeletal disorders and obesity', Australian Health Review, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 207-214.

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The aim of this study was to examine the association becween musculoskeletal disorders and the level of obesity (as defined by the body mass index) for a sample of the Australian population aged 20-64. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the association berween musculoskeletal disorders and obesity, controlling for a range of socio-demographic characteristics. Individual-level data on obesity, musculoskeletal disorders. and various socio-demographic characteristics were extracted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 1995 National Health Survey (NHS). Individuals with musculoskeletal disorders were identified using ICD-9 codes 710-739 from a sample of 28,376 individuals from the non-institutionalised population. Estimates from the logistic regression equation indicate that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between the probability of having a musculoskeletal disorder and the level of obesity. Socto-demographic variables such as age, sex, origin, income level, employment status and geographic location also had a statistically significant relationship. This information can be used by public health practitioners and educators to identifY those at risk and to design health strategies that target at-risk patients.

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