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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Incidence of High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Primary Care Patients with Acute Low Back Pain: A Cohort Study.

Roseen EJ, Smith CN, Essien UR, Cozier YC, Joyce C, Morone NE, Phillips RS, Gergen Barnett K, Patterson CG, Wegener ST, Brennan GP, Delitto A, Saper RB, Beneciuk JM, Stevans JM. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Incidence of High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Primary Care Patients with Acute Low Back Pain: A Cohort Study. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 2023 Jun 1; 24(6):633-643.

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OBJECTIVE: We assessed whether race or ethnicity was associated with the incidence of high-impact chronic low back pain (cLBP) among adults consulting a primary care provider for acute low back pain (aLBP). METHODS: In this secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study, patients with aLBP were identified through screening at seventy-seven primary care practices from four geographic regions. Incidence of high-impact cLBP was defined as the subset of patients with cLBP and at least moderate disability on Oswestry Disability Index [ODI > 30]) at 6?months. General linear mixed models provided adjusted estimates of association between race/ethnicity and high-impact cLBP. RESULTS: We identified 9,088 patients with aLBP (81.3% White; 14.3% Black; 4.4% Hispanic). Black/Hispanic patients compared to White patients, were younger and more likely to be female, obese, have Medicaid insurance, worse disability on ODI, and were at higher risk of persistent disability on STarT Back Tool (all P? < .0001). At 6?months, more Black and Hispanic patients reported high-impact cLBP (30% and 25%, respectively) compared to White patients (15%, P? < .0001, n? = 5,035). After adjusting for measured differences in socioeconomic and back-related risk factors, compared to White patients, the increased odds of high-impact cLBP remained statistically significant for Black but not Hispanic patients (adjusted odds ration [aOR]? = 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.87 and aOR? = 1.25, 95%CI: 0.83-1.90, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: We observed an increased incidence of high-impact cLBP among Black and Hispanic patients compared to White patients. This disparity was partly explained by racial/ethnic differences in socioeconomic and back-related risk factors. Interventions that target these factors to reduce pain-related disparities should be evaluated. CLINICALTRIALS.GOV IDENTIFIER: NCT02647658.

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