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Table 2 Patient Visits According to Presence or Absence of Low Back Pain, 2003–2004 (N = 50,558)*

From: The epidemiology and medical management of low back pain during ambulatory medical care visits in the United States

  LBP Status     
  LBP Present LBP Absent LBP Visits Primary LBP Visits†
Characteristic n NPE SE % n NPE SE % OR‡ 95% CI OR‡ 95% CI
Patient age, y             
<25 115 4,423 572 7 10,764 431,753 24,165 25 0.30 0.22 0.41 0.26 0.18 – 0.38
25–44 473 19,360 1,410 31 10,212 378,110 19,956 22 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
45–64 598 23,599 2,409 38 14,426 497,737 25,996 28 0.84 0.71 – 1.00 0.78 0.65 – 0.95
≥ 65 363 14,335 1,443 23 13,607 447,079 23,110 25 0.60 0.47 – 0.75 0.54 0.41 – 0.70
Patient sex             
Female 908 36,652 2,539 59 27,581 1,035,915 46,027 59 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Male 641 25,065 2,042 41 21,428 718,765 32,578 41 0.93 0.81 – 1.06 1.01 0.85 – 1.20
Patient race             
White 1,375 54,358 3,825 88 42,716 1,497,330 71,034 85 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Non-White 174 7,359 1,015 12 6,293 257,349 16,925 15 0.88 0.68 – 1.14 0.80 0.61 – 1.06
Patient ethnicity             
Non-Hispanic 1,401 56,201 3,846 91 44,432 1,565,163 68,318 89 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Hispanic 148 5,516 676 9 4,577 189,516 22,488 11 1.02 0.81 – 1.29 1.01 0.76 – 1.34
Geographic region             
Northeast 441 18,566 2,856 30 10,111 340,535 31,296 19 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Midwest 329 11,704 1,608 19 11,056 367,864 38,458 21 0.56 0.40 – 0.77 0.53 0.37 – 0.75
South 459 17,948 1,584 29 17,262 674,752 49,514 38 0.56 0.40 – 0.77 0.52 0.36 – 0.75
West 320 13,499 1,630 22 10,580 371,528 29,742 21 0.75 0.52 – 1.07 0.71 0.48 – 1.06
MSA status             
MSA 1,293 53,704 4,318 87 42,768 1,534,434 99,888 87 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Non-MSA 256 8,013 2,093 13 6,241 220,245 51,084 13 1.00 0.78 – 1.28 1.06 0.79 – 1.43
Episode of care             
Initial 509 20,495 1,431 33 14,004 526,779 23,102 30 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Follow-up 921 35,647 3,256 58 26,324 829,669 41,893 47 0.98 0.83 – 1.16 1.02 0.83 – 1.26
Other or missing 119 5,575 706 9 8,681 398,231 23,040 23 0.80 0.56 – 1.14 0.88 0.57 – 1.36
Chronicity of symptoms             
Acute 571 23,451 1,602 38 15,741 615,627 25,898 35 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Chronic, routine 609 23,893 2,932 39 17,885 561,484 30,854 32 1.37 1.08 – 1.74 1.36 1.03 – 1.79
Chronic, flare-up 255 9,483 985 15 4,493 139,324 9,200 8 2.09 1.65 – 2.65 2.03 1.58 – 2.63
Other or missing§ 114 4,890 618 8 10,890 438,244 24,905 25 0.52 0.35 – 0.77 0.33 0.20 – 0.56
IPA etiology             
No 1,063 42,011 2,824 68 43,823 1,569,266 68,357 89 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Yes 486 19,707 1,785 32 5,186 185,413 10,269 11 3.38 2.75 – 4.14 3.33 2.64 – 4.21
PCP status             
Non-PCP or unknown 903 27,985 2,959 45 33,809 925,652 54,734 53 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
PCP 646 33,732 2,345 55 15,200 829,027 38,795 47 0.84 0.61 – 1.16 0.82 0.55 – 1.21
Type of physician             
Doctor of Medicine 1,189 47,244 2,859 77 45,316 1,636,480 72,120 93 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Doctor of Osteopathy 360 14,474 2,718 23 3,693 118,199 12,647 7 2.61 1.75 – 3.92 2.68 1.77 – 4.06
Physician specialty             
Family (general) medicine 549 25,210 2,259 41 8,240 405,563 26,625 23 3.28 2.26 – 4.77 3.59 2.26 – 5.72
Internal medicine 161 14,405 3,074 23 3,044 273,218 23,834 16 3.34 2.11 – 5.27 3.38 1.95 – 5.85
Neurology 237 2,255 405 4 3,202 25,403 2,685 1 3.97 2.69 – 5.85 3.25 2.07 – 5.08
Orthopedics 217 5,638 896 9 2,521 82,010 9,469 5 2.27 1.48 – 3.49 2.19 1.35 – 3.53
All other specialties 385 14,209 1,688 23 32,002 968,485 49,844 55 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Shared physician care             
No or unknown 1,051 45,111 3,282 73 35,679 1,339,868 60,278 76 1.00 ... 1.00 ...
Yes 498 16,606 1,413 27 13,330 414,812 22,483 24 1.17 0.99 – 1.39 1.09 0.88 – 1.35
Total 1,549 61,717 3,988 100 49,009 1,754,679 76,123 100   ...   ...
  1. Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; IPA, injury, poisoning, or adverse effect of medical treatment; LBP, low back pain; MSA, metropolitan statistical area; NPE, national population estimate for the two-year interval; OR, odds ratio; PCP, primary care physician, SE, standard error of the national population estimate.
  2. *Table entries for NPE and SE are in thousands; percentages are based on NPE.
  3. †Includes only patient visits in which LBP was the primary reason for seeking medical care (n = 1042).
  4. ‡Adjusted for all variables shown.
  5. §Other options included pre- or post-surgery visits, prenatal care, and health maintenance visits.