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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 40-43

Assessment of the level of serum beta carotene in chronic low back pain patients and its association with lumbar osteophyte formation

Department of Orthopedics, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Karthick A Krishnamurthy
Department of Orthopedics, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: To assess the relationship between beta carotene levels, smoking, and alcohol consumption as a risk factor for developing spinal osteoarthritis. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study on 153 patients above 50 years of age with at least 3 months of continuous low back pain. The study period was from August 2015 to March 2017. The demographic data, the amount of alcohol intake, and smoking history were noted. The X-ray of lumbosacral spine (ap and lateral) was taken and Nathan's criteria for osteophyte positivity were applied. Blood samples were sent to biochemistry department for assessing beta carotene levels. Patients with any preexisting pathology of the spine were excluded. Statistical correlation studies were used to assess the significance. Results: Spinal osteoarthritis was more in females and among them 22% had low serum beta carotene. Among the men with osteoarthritis, 32% had low serum beta carotene levels. There was a moderate correlation between beta carotene levels and osteophyte formation. There was strong association between smoking, alcohol intake, and osteophyte formation. The beta carotene levels were found to be low in persons consuming alcohol and persons who smoke. Conclusion: Low serum beta carotene is a risk factor for spinal osteoarthritis, but it can be prevented by adequate dietary supplementation. Smoking and alcohol are independent but avoidable risk factors for developing spinal osteoarthritis.

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