Body height and spinal pain in adolescence: a cohort study from the Danish National Birth Cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 1.53 MB, PDF document

Objectives: To investigate how body height and trajectories of height from infancy through childhood and adolescence were associated with spinal pain in pre- and late adolescence. Methods: This prospective study included 43,765 individuals born into The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) from 1996 to 2003. DNBC-data were linked with health and social data identified from Statistics Denmark registers. Spinal pain was self-reported in both the 11-year- and 18-year follow-up of DNBC and classified according to severity. Body height was measured from birth and onwards and further modelled as distinct developmental height trajectories by using latent growth curve modelling. Associations were estimated by using multinomial logistic regression models. Results: Taller body height in childhood and adolescence was associated with approximately 20% increased likelihood of spinal pain in pre- and late adolescence among girls compared to their peers in the normal height group. For boys, taller body height was associated with spinal pain by late adolescence only. Spinal pain in pre-adolescence almost doubled the likelihood of spinal pain in late adolescence regardless of body height at age 18. Height trajectories confirmed the relationship for girls with the tall individuals being most likely to have spinal pain in both pre- and late adolescence. Conclusion: Tall body height during childhood and adolescence predisposes to spinal pain among girls in both pre-and late adolescence, and among boys in late adolescence. Body height is a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of spinal pain in adolescence; however, the mechanisms may be related to growth velocity, but for now uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number958
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Adolescence, Back pain, Body height, Epidemiology, Growth, Spinal pain

ID: 378742423