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All in the family: Lower back disease may be in your genes
Date:2/2/2011

Symptomatic lumbar disc disease, a condition caused by degeneration or herniation of the discs of the lower spine, may be inherited, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS).

"Previous studies, including studies of twin siblings and subsequent genetic marker studies, have suggested a genetic predisposition for the development of symptomatic lumbar disc disease but have been limited by a small number of patients," noted study author Alpesh A. Patel, MD FACS, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "The results of this study provide evidence based on a population of more than 2 million people, indicating that there likely is a genetic component in the development of this disease. Additionally, the factors that differentiate a symptomatic disc from a non-painful disc may also be affected by genetics."

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