The burden of neck pain in the Middle East and North Africa region, 1990–2019

Ramin Ahangar-Sirous, Mahasti Alizadeh, Seyed Aria Nejadghaderi, Maryam Noori, Alireza Khabbazi, Mark J.M. Sullman, Ali Asghar Kolahi, Gary S. Collins, Saeid Safiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neck pain is a common cause of disability across the world. The objective of the present study was to present a thorough investigation of the burden caused by neck pain in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, by country, sex, age group and socio-demographic index (SDI). Methods: The data on the burden of neck pain, encompassing its prevalence, incidence and years lived with disability (YLDs), were extracted from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019 study. These findings are reported as age-standardised numbers and rates (per 100,000), accompanied by 95 % uncertainty intervals (UIs). Results: The age-standardised point prevalence of neck pain in 2019 was 3066.7 (95 % UI: 2407.8 to 3894.3) per 100,000, with an age-standardised incidence rate of 649.2 (509.2–829.2) in the MENA region, neither of which have changed since 1990. The age-standardised YLD rate of neck pain was 303.0 (201.5–438.8) per 100,000 population in 2019. The highest YLD rate of neck pain was found in Iran [423.5 (280.3–609.8)] and the lowest in Kuwait [215.0 (141.0–314.1)]. The highest number of prevalent cases were seen in the 45–49 age-group for both sexes in 2019, but overall females had a higher point prevalence than males. Furthermore, over the study period (1990–2019) there was no clear and consistent relationship between the SDI and the burden of neck pain. Conclusion: Although the burden of neck pain has largely remained stable over the past three decades, the prevalence and morbidity in the MENA region remains high. Preventive and rehabilitative programs should be implemented that firstly target middle-aged females and males.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21296
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Epidemiology
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Neck pain
  • Years lived with disability


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