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Influence of weight, body mass index and lifestyle factors on radiographic features of lumbar disc degeneration
  1. Stephen R Pye1,
  2. David M Reid2,
  3. Judith E Adams3,
  4. Alan J Silman1,
  5. Terence W O’Neill1
  1. 1arc Epidemiology Unit, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK
  3. 3Department of Clinical Radiology, Imaging Science and Biomedical Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr T W O’Neill
    arc Epidemiology Unit, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK; terence.o’neill{at}

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Intervertebral disc degeneration is characterised radiologically by the presence of osteophytes, disc space narrowing and endplate sclerosis. Various lifestyle factors including occupational and recreational physical activity, obesity and smoking have been reported to be associated with the occurrence of lumbar disc disease, although the results from studies are not always consistent, with few studies looking at associations with the component radiographic features of the disease.1–9 We studied a population-based sample of men and women to determine the association between weight, body mass index (BMI), regular levels of physical activity, smoking and radiographic features of lumbar disc degeneration.

Men and women aged ⩾50 years were recruited for participation in a screening …

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  • Competing interests: None.