In this project we will take advantage of our recently established biobank at the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) consisting of 300 Norwegian subjects, which in the period 2009-2010 were treated at Oslo University Hospital (OUS) or Haukeland University Hospital (HUS) for low back pain and sciatica. In this sample we will, in the period 2013-2015, study the interaction between gender, genotype and psychosocial work factors regarding pain, workplace absenteeism and disability pensioning.

A unique combination of health data from the hospital record, DNA, MRI and pain scores from questionnaires sampled in our ongoing research as well as data from health registers at Statistics Norway (SSB), i.e. the “FD-Trygd” database, will be used. To better describe the phenotype of each individual, the protein levels in serum will be analyzed in collaboration with Uppsala University Hospital.

Moreover, in collaboration with the University of Oulu, we will replicate and validate the findings in a larger cohort comprising 3000 Finnish individuals from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort Studies (NFBC). The NFBC includes all relevant health data, DNA, and an extensive set of questions about physical and psychosocial work factors, which cannot be found elsewhere.

Translation of knowledge from basic neuroscience into applied research as described in this grant proposal may be important for future prevention of long lasting pain, workplace absenteeism and disability pensioning.