Aim: The aim of this study was to compare patterns of utilization of NSAIDs for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) by occupation in a general employed population.
Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the CADEUS cohort study on 5651 actively employed patients, who submitted at least one claim for the reimbursement of a NSAID dispensation for a MSD between August 2003 and July 2004, in the French National Healthcare Insurance database. Questionnaires were sent to prescribing physicians to obtain diagnoses and the medical history, and to patients for their occupation, height and weight and smoking status. Multivariate logistic regression was used to study the determinants of a heavy use of NSAIDs defined as 'over four dispensations in one year with less than two months between any two'.
Results: Factors associated with heavy use of NSAIDs were age (Odds ratio (OR): 1.8 (ten years), 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6-1.9), osteoarthritis (versus back pain) (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.5-2.1), body mass index (superior to 30) (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.5-2.2), and occupation (blue collar versus white collar workers) (OR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.6). Blue collar workers also had a 20% higher prevalence of 5-year history of dyspepsia. No difference was observed between sexes or in the use of COX-2 selective inhibitors between occupations.
Conclusion: Factors associated with occupational constraints that contribute to the severity of MSDs, may explain the heavier use of NSAIDs among blue collar workers in spite of a concurrent and past medical history of adverse reactions to this type of medication.