Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 September, 246(1)

Sleep Disturbance Is Associated with New Onset and Continuation of Lower Back Pain: A Longitudinal Study among Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake

YUTAKA YABE,1 YOSHIHIRO HAGIWARA,1 TAKUYA SEKIGUCHI,1 YUMI SUGAWARA,2 MASAHIRO TSUCHIYA,3 MASASHI KOIDE1, NOBUYUKI ITAYA,1 SHINICHIROU YOSHIDA,1 YASUHITO SOGI,1 TOSHIHISA YANO,1 ICHIRO TSUJI2 and EIJI ITOI1

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
2Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Informatics and Public Health, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Public Health, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
3Tohoku Fukushi University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

Lower back pain (LBP) is a common health problem after natural disasters. Although some related factors have been reported, the effect of sleep disturbances on LBP is not clear. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the influence of sleep disturbances on LBP after the Great East Japan earthquake (GEJE). A panel study was conducted with the survivors of the GEJE (n = 2,295) at three and four years after the disaster using self-reported questionnaires. The changes in the presence of LBP during the two periods were assessed; LBP was characterized as either new onset or continuation of LBP. The participants' sleep conditions were assessed, and the changes in sleep disturbances during the two periods were classified into four groups: absence, new onset, improvement, and continuation. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to analyze the association of the changes in sleep disturbance with new onset and continuation of LBP. The rates of new onset and continuation of LBP were 14.1% and 55.1%, respectively. The changes in sleep disturbances were significantly associated with new-onset and continuing LBP. Using “absence” as a reference for the change of sleep disturbance, the adjusted ORs (95% CI) for new-onset LBP were 2.19 (1.42-3.38) in “new onset,” 1.38 (0.83-2.30) in “improvement,” and 2.17 (1.50-3.15) in “continuation,” and those for continuing LBP were 1.42 (0.71-2.84) in “new onset,” 0.98 (0.55-1.74) in “improvement,” and 1.60 (1.01-2.51) in “continuation.” Careful attention should be paid to sleep disturbances to prevent and improve LBP after natural disasters.

Key words —— Great East Japan Earthquake; lower back pain; natural disaster; sleep disturbance; survivor

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Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 246, 9-14

Correspondence: Yoshihiro Hagiwara, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan.

e-mail: hagi@med.tohoku.ac.jp