New research has found an alarming “clear link” between back pain and dying earlier in life.

As if you needed something else to worry about, a new study now suggests that your seemingly harmless back pain could be a sign of something far worse: early death. According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney, there is a “clear link” between back pain and early mortality, although they aren’t yet sure why.

According to the study, now published online in European Journal of Pain, individuals who suffer from chronic back pain are 13 percent more likely to die early from any cause. According to the researchers, this finding is significant as many view back pain as harmless and nothing more than a slight inconvenience. These results suggest otherwise.

“These findings warrant further investigation because while there is a clear link between back pain and mortality we don’t know yet why this is so,” explained study author Dr. Paulo Ferreria, in a recent statement. “Spinal pain may be part of a pattern of poor health and poor functional ability, which increases mortality risk in the older population.”

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