European Spine Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 168–176 | Cite as

Is smoking a risk factor for lumbar disc herniation?

  • Weimin Huang
  • Ying Qian
  • Kai Zheng
  • Lili Yu
  • Xiuchun YuEmail author
Original Article



To evaluate the association between cigarette smoking and lumbar disc herniation (LDH).


Cohort or case–control studies were identified by searches of several data bases, including Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, and BIOSIS, for entries made up to December 2014. Data extraction was performed by two independent investigators. The data synthesis was performed using the random effects model. Subgroup analysis, sensitivity analyses, and assessment for publication bias were also performed.


This systematic review included 12 studies—six each of cohort and case–control studies. The combined reported values showed that the relative risk of the association between smoking and LDH was 1.27 [95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.15–1.40] overall, 1.48 (95 % CI, 1.27–1.73) for case–control studies, and 1.17 (95 % CI, 1.05–1.30) for cohort studies.


This systematic review demonstrates that smoking promotes the development of LDH.


Smoking Lumbar disc herniation Systematic Review Meta-analysis Risk factors 



No funds were received in support of this work. No benefits have been or will be received from a commercial party related to the subject of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weimin Huang
    • 1
  • Ying Qian
    • 2
  • Kai Zheng
    • 1
  • Lili Yu
    • 3
  • Xiuchun Yu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsGeneral Hospital of Jinan Military Commanding RegionJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyGeneral Hospital of Jinan Military Commanding RegionJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsGeneral Hospital of Jinan Military Commanding RegionJinanPeople’s Republic of China

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