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

ogical data in the database were included.
  • The researchers also determined and calculated the Relative Risk (RR) for relatives. This measure defines the risk of lumbar disc disease among family members of patients compared to individuals without disease. Important Findings:
  • Individuals with lumbar disc disease were more likely to have family members with disc disease.
  • Relative risk for lumbar disc disease was significantly elevated in both close and distant relatives.
  • The combination of the two findings, given the large patient population, strongly supports a genetic basis to symptomatic lumbar disc disease.

    "Although excess risk in the immediate family might indicate evidence of a genetic contribution, it could also simply indicate shared environment risks or household exposure that may be contributing to the disease," Dr. Patel noted. "Conversely, excess risks in second and third-degree relatives strongly support a genetic contribution to disease, given the measurable genetic sharing in these more distant relatives and the relative absence of shared household risks."

    "There are limitations to our study. We could not measure disease severity or response to treatment. Furthermore, the population of Utah is genetically representative of a US or North European background. As such, this study does not prove a purely genetic basis for disease but suggests that it may play an important role." Dr. Patel noted. "With additional data, this hypothesis can be tested with larger sample sizes."

    According to data from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), back pain is a common problem, and in 2008, attracted more than 12 million physician visits. Dr. Patel said identifying the factors that contribute to the disease can have far-reaching implications.

    "Lumbar disc disease is likely due to a number of factors, including mechanical stresses to the spine, age-dependent disc degeneration, biochemical factors and gene
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  • Contact: Lauren Pearson
    pearson@aaos.org
    847-384-4031
    American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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