High Prevalence of Back Pain at Free Clinics in the Sacred Valley of Peru

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Bryan Sisk
Vipan Nikore, MD, MBA
Clark Madsen


Back pain is a major contributor to healthcare costs around the world and mainly affects manual laborers. Therefore, back pain may be highly prevalent in areas of the world with economies primarily based on physical labor, such as the Peruvian Andes. In the following study, the authors present data from a short-term medical mission to the Sacred Valley region of Peru, during which 1,114 patients over the age of 18 years old were treated. Back pain was identified as the most common health complaint, with 30% of patients presenting with this symptom. In performing logistic regression analysis, both age (OR 1.01 per year over 18) and remoteness of home village (OR 2.42) were associated with the complaint of back pain. Male sex also had a positive association (OR 1.32) and trended toward significance (p=0.07). Back pain is a major burden on the health and economy of this region and a potential target for medical intervention.

Article Details

back pain, Peru
Original Research
How to Cite
Sisk, B., Nikore, V., & Madsen, C. (2013). High Prevalence of Back Pain at Free Clinics in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The Columbia University Journal of Global Health, 3(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.7916/thejgh.v3i1.5263