Chronic diseases

Back pain


Contact: Natasja van Schoor

In older persons, back pain is an often mentioned symptom. A study of an urban population in the Netherlands showed a lifetime prevalence of low back pain of 51% for men and 58% for women (1). Furthermore, back pain is one of the most frequent reasons for visiting a GP or physical therapist and a cause for work disablement (2). Back pain can also lead to the physical disability of older persons, disturbed sleep, an increase in use of healthcare resources and psychosocial disruption (3). Previous research stated the importance of psychosocial factors as predictors of low back pain (4).

Measurement instruments in LASA
In the medical interview in LASA-C, LASA-D and LASA-E, two questions were asked regarding back pain. First, whether the respondent had suffered from back pain and if so, for how long the pain lasted.

LASAC182 / LASAD182 / LASAE182 (mvar501, mvar502; medical interview, in Dutch)

Variable information
LASAC182 / LASAD182 / LASAE182
(mvar501, mvar502, pdf)

Availability of information per wave 1












Back pain
mvar501, mvar502
Me Me Me - - - - - - -

1   More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
   3B=baseline third cohort;
   MB=migrants: baseline first cohort

Me=data collected in medical interview


Previous use in LASA
Within LASA, the items on back pain are yet to be used.


  1. Valkenburg, H.A. and Haanen, H.C.M., The epidemiology of low back pain. In: A.A. White III and S.L. Gordon (Eds.), Symposium on Idiopathic Low Back Pain, C.V. Mosby, St. Louis, MO, 1982, pp. 9-22.
  2. van Tulder, M. W., Koes, B. W., & Bouter, L. M. A cost-of-illness study of back pain in The Netherlands. Pain, 1995; 62(2), 233-240.
  3. Jones, L. D., Pandit, H., & Lavy, C. Back pain in the elderly: a review. Maturitas, 2014; 78(4), 258-262.
  4. Pincus, T., Burton, A. K., Vogel, S., & Field, A. P. A systematic review of psychological factors as predictors of chronicity/disability in prospective cohorts of low back pain. Spine, 2002; 27(5), E109-E120.