Prevalence of chronic lower back pain in Brazilian military firefighters

Daltro Izaias Pelozato de Oliveira, Brunna Manuelle de Souza Teixeira, Osmair Gomes de Macedo, Vagner dos Santos, Luiz Guilherme Grossi Porto, Wagner Rodrigues Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Lower back pain (LBP) is a common health problem worldwide, affecting an increasing number of individuals. Military firefighters (MFFs) face high levels of physical and psychological demands and are commonly exposed to different occupational risk factors. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of chronic lower back pain (CLBP) in Brazilian enlisted MFFs.

Methods. This cross-sectional study was carried out at the Military Firefighters Department of the Brazilian Federal District (Corpo de Bombeiros Militar do Distrito Federal [CBMDF]). The estimated sample size was 608 MFFs.

Results. Of the 623 participants, 575 valid and complete questionnaires were analyzed. A total of 183 participants reported CLBP, indicating a point prevalence of 31.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] [28.2, 35.4]). The prevalence of acute and subacute LBP was 9.2% (95% CI [7.1, 11.9]), and 59% (95% CI [54.9, 62.9]) reported no back pain. CLBP was more common among men aged 40–49 years, who were insufficiently active and overweight.

Conclusion. Around one-third of the study population reported CLPB. Prevalence estimates of CLPB were greater among men and those between 40 and 49 years old. Our data support the need for programs to prevent and treat CLBP among firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1699-1704
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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