BMI Predicts Neck Pain After Car Crash
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Tuesday, May 06, 2014 04:49 PM

"Ninety percent of patients seen in the emergency department after motor vehicle collisions are not admitted," researchers said. 'Unfortunately, chronic post-motor vehicle collision pain develops in 20% to 40% of these individuals."

The researchers noted that population-based and postoperative studies suggest a relationship between lingering pain and increased body mass index. "  The researchers found that increasing body mass index was also associated with the number of body regions in which pain persisted, as well as for overall persistent pain.

The risk of neck pain 6 months after a car crash is increased if the injured person is obese, researchers reported.  The relative risk of having neck pain for people who are morbidly obese at the time of the accident -- a body mass index in excess of 35 kg/m2 -- was 1.9-fold at 6 weeks compared with normal-weight individuals.

At 1 year, the risk for neck pain among morbidly obese patients was still 1.4-fold greater than for people with normal weight.  "Increasing body mass index increases the risk of persistent moderate or severe axial pain and overall pain," the author said. "The strength of the association is modest for overweight or obese body mass index categories, and moderate-to-strong for the morbidly obese."