On the basis of data of the East German Health Survey (1991/92) and regional studies from West Germany (Bad Säckingen 1990, Lübeck 1991/92, Bad Säckingen 1993/94) results on the prevalence of back pain, other rheumatic complaints and general health problems are compared. East German respondents report on back pain and all other rheumatic complaints definitely less often than West German respondents but suffer equally from general health complaints. Apart from the differences in the prevalence of rheumatic complaints there are remarkable structural analogies between East Germany and the West German cities. In any region, the back is the most often affected part of the body, followed by the neck, the shoulder, and the knee. Beyond that, there are similar age-related and sex-specific differences in prevalence rates of rheumatic complaints. In the groups of elderly people, a pattern of declining or constant prevalence rates can be noticed with many complaints. However, there are differences in pain intensity and functional limitations between East and West The East German respondents particularly mention mild pain more rarely than respondents of the West German cities. They also report fewer functional limitations. This may indicate that in East Germany people attach less importance to rheumatic pain and deal with it in a different way. Possibly, the differences in prevalence can be explained thereby. To what extent they reflect real differences in morbidity cannot be clarified by the present data.
|Translated title of the contribution||Back pain in East and West Germany|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 10.1996|