, , Posted on 11 December 2019 by

ISSLS Prize in Clinical Science 2020 to authors from PolyOmica

A team of six, with two authors affiliated with PolyOmica, has received a 2020 prize in Clinical Science from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) for a study that found a significant causal effect of BMI on both back pain and chronic back pain1.

Back pain is the #1 cause of years lived with disability worldwide and one of the most common reasons for health care visits in developed countries, yet surprisingly little is known regarding the biology underlying this symptom. The study, led by Pradeep Suri of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Seattle, Washington (U.S.A.), combined results from analysis of genomes and phenotypes of 776,014 people to assess the causal effect of body mass index (BMI) on (chronic) back pain.

The two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis supported a hypothesis of causal association of BMI and back pain, with a 1-standard deviation (4.65 kg/m2) increase in BMI conferring 1.15 times the odds of back pain (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06–1.25, p = 0.001] and chronic back pain (OR 1.20 per 1 SD deviation increase in BMI [95% CI 1.09–1.32; p = 0.0002]).

The ISSLS Prize program, sponsored by European Spine Journal since 2015, comprises three awards of $US20,000 each. Prizes are awarded competitively on the basis of scientific merit in one or more of the following areas: basic science, bioengineering science and clinical science.  

This work continues series of works of PolyOmica on primary chronic musculoskeletal pain, together with our colleagues from the Washington University in Seattle, the University College London, and the Laboratory of Theoretical and Applied Functional Genomics of the Novosibirsk State University. The results of this and other on-going genetic association studies will facilitate our further works aiming at discovery of intervention targets and therapeutic interventions for musculoskeletal pain. 

  1. 1.
    Elgaeva EE, Tsepilov Y, Freidin MB, Williams FMK, Aulchenko Y, Suri P. ISSLS Prize in Clinical Science 2020. Examining causal effects of body mass index on back pain: a Mendelian randomization study. Eur Spine J. December 2019. doi:10.1007/s00586-019-06224-6

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