Sydney: A study of twins reveals genetic factors might explain the commonly found association between low back pain and depression. Dr Paulo Ferreria from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences said the study indicates the association between depression and back pain is the result of the confounding effect of common genetic factors influencing both conditions. "Our case-control study reveals the association between back pain and depression vanishes when genetic and familial confounders among twins are factored in," Dr Ferreria said. "The new research offers hope for the future management of depression and back pain as the association of the two conditions can complicate diagnosis and treatment.
"While the prevalence of patients
concurrently suffering depression and low back pain is high, this new
research shows it is possible there is no direct relationship between
the two health conditions."
Marina de Barros Pinheiro from the
Faculty of Health Sciences and an author on the study said the new
research debunks the findings of previous studies that found a
consistent relationship between back pain and depression.
study we examined genetically identical twins for a controlled case
analysis and found that a link between depression and back pain was not
evident which indicates genetic factors affecting both conditions is
likely responsible for the association between the two conditions," Ms
"The study suggests genes affecting factors that
control both conditions, for example levels of neurotransmitters, such
as serotonin and norepinephrine, might potentially be responsible for
the increase in the risk of suffering both back pain and depression."
control study used data from 2,148 Spanish twins to investigate the
association between depression and back pain, accounting for genetics,
familial and environmental factors.