The association between lifetime history of a neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and future neck pain: a population based cohort study
Nolet, Paul S.
Master of Public Health
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The role of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision as a predisposing factor for future neck pain and disability is controversial. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a past history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision was associated with incident troublesome neck pain. Data from the Saskatchewan Health and Back Pain Survey, a population based survey mailed to a stratified random sample of 2184 Saskatchewan adults aged 20-69 years was used for the analysis. Fifty-five percent of the eligible population participated and of those 74.8% responded to the six month and 62.9% at twelve month follow-up survey. The exposure was collected by asking participants whether they had ever injured their neck in a motor vehicle collision (n=122). The population at risk included those with no or mild neck pain at baseline (n=919). The association between the history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and the development of troublesome neck pain was analyzed with multivariable Cox regression with adjustment for confounders. The history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision was positively associated with the development of troublesome neck pain at six and twelve months (crude Hazard Rate Ratio = 2.43; 95% CI 1.28-4.60). After adjusting for bodily pain and BMI, this association was reduced (Hazard Rate Ratio = 2.14; 95% CI 1.12-4.10). This prospective cohort study suggests that a history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision was a risk factor for the development of an episode of troublesome neck pain.