European Spine Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 972–981

The association between a lifetime history of a neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and future neck pain: a population-based cohort study

  • Paul S. Nolet
  • Pierre Côté
  • J. David Cassidy
  • Linda J. Carroll
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00586-010-1344-7

Cite this article as:
Nolet, P.S., Côté, P., Cassidy, J.D. et al. Eur Spine J (2010) 19: 972. doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1344-7

Abstract

The objective of this population-based cohort study was to investigate the association between a lifetime history of neck injury from a motor vehicle collision and the development of troublesome neck pain. The current evidence suggests that individuals with a history of neck injury in a traffic collision are more likely to experience future neck pain. However, these results may suffer from residual confounding. Therefore, there is a need to test this association in a large population-based cohort with adequate control of known confounders. We formed a cohort of 919 randomly sampled Saskatchewan adults with no or mild neck pain in September 1995. At baseline, participants were asked if they ever injured their neck in a motor vehicle collision. Six and twelve months later, we asked about the presence of troublesome neck pain (grade II–IV) on the chronic pain grade questionnaire. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate the association between a lifetime history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and the onset of troublesome neck pain while controlling for known confounders. The follow-up rate was 73.5% (676/919) at 6 months and 63.1% (580/919) at 1 year. We found a positive association between a history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and the onset of troublesome neck pain after controlling for bodily pain and body mass index (adjusted HRR = 2.14; 95% CI 1.12–4.10). Our analysis suggests that a history of neck injury in a motor vehicle collision is a risk factor for developing future troublesome neck pain. The consequences of a neck injury in a motor vehicle collision can have long lasting effects and predispose individuals to experience recurrent episodes of neck pain.

Keywords

Neck painWhiplashEpidemiologyRiskCohort

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul S. Nolet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Pierre Côté
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. David Cassidy
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Linda J. Carroll
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre of Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO), University Health Network Rehabilitation Solutions, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Public Health ProgramLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  3. 3.Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Division of Health Care and Outcomes ResearchToronto Western Research InstituteTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Public Health Sciences, The Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaAlbertaCanada
  6. 6.GuelphCanada