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.
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