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J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(8), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7080198

Higher Risk of Intervertebral Disc Herniation among Neurosurgeons Than Neurologists: 15 Year-Follow-Up of a Physician Cohort

1,2
,
1,2,3
,
1,2,†,* and 2,4,5,†,*
1
Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans’ General Hospital, Taipei 11217, Taiwan
2
School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
4
Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans’ General Hospital, Taipei 11217, Taiwan
5
Institute of Hospital and Health Care Administration, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
The authors contributed equally to this manuscript.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Diseases: From Cure to Prevention)
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Abstract

High physical activity or workload has been associated with intervertebral disc degeneration. However, there is little data on physicians’ risks of disc disease. The study aimed to investigate the incidences of spinal problems among neurologists and neurosurgeons. A cohort of neurologists and neurosurgeons was derived from Taiwan’s national research database. During the study period, the incidences of intervertebral disc herniation or spondylosis among these specialists were calculated. Another one-to-one by propensity score matched cohort, composed of neurologists and neurosurgeons, was also analyzed. A Cox regression hazard ratio (HR) model and Kaplan-Meier analysis were conducted to compare the risks and incidences. The entire cohort comprised 481 and 317 newly board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons, respectively. During the 15 years of follow-up, neurosurgeons were approximately six-fold more likely to develop disc problems than neurologists (crude HR = 5.98 and adjusted HR = 6.08, both p < 0.05). In the one-to-one propensity-score matched cohort (317 neurologists versus 317 neurosurgeons), there were even higher risks among neurosurgeons than neurologists (crude HR = 8.15, and adjusted HR = 10.14, both p < 0.05). Neurosurgeons have a higher chance of intervertebral disc disorders than neurologists. This is potentially an occupational risk that warrants further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurologists; neurosurgeons; intervertebral disc herniation; incidences; physician cohort; cohort study neurologists; neurosurgeons; intervertebral disc herniation; incidences; physician cohort; cohort study
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Huang, W.-C.; Kuo, C.-H.; Wu, J.-C.; Chen, Y.-C. Higher Risk of Intervertebral Disc Herniation among Neurosurgeons Than Neurologists: 15 Year-Follow-Up of a Physician Cohort. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 198.

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