An epidemiological study of low back pain in a student population of a South African tertiary educational institution
Smith, Craig Desmond
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Epidemiological studies, conducted in various countries around the world suggest that low back pain (LBP) represents a serious health risk, affecting populations all over the world. Evidence suggests that the prevalence of LBP is relatively high among people in their 20’s and 30’s. A few epidemiological studies on student populations in other countries suggest prevalence rates of 27 to 71% (Gemmel et al. 1990, Klaber-Moffet et al. 1993, Reis et al. 1996, Lebowski 1997), however LBP among students in South Africa had not yet been investigated. This study concentrated on the prevalence of LBP among the student population of a South African tertiary institution, i.e. Durban Institute of Technology (DIT). This study also proposed to investigate the level and nature of care seeking among those people suffering from LBP. A third aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between potential risk factors and the prevalence of LBP among the student population of South Africa. These were: age, gender, race, height, weight, smoking habits, parity, physical exercise and occupation.