Sixty-eight medical, social, and occupational history variables were analyzed in a general population of 442 men and 478 women, aged 30, 40, 50, and 60 years to identify possible indicators for first-time experience and recurrence or persistence of low-back trouble (LBT) during a 1-year follow-up. Variables that in univariate analyses showed statistically significant indications for future LBT were subjected to stepwise logistic regression analyses. The most important indicators for recurrence or persistence of LBT thus identified were, for men, intermittent claudication, restlessness, or other discomfort in the lower limbs, frequent headache, and living alone. For women, the corresponding indicators were rumbling of "the stomach" and feeling of fatigue. For first-time experience of LBT, the indicators identified by the regression analyses were frequent pain in the top of the stomach, previous hospitalizations and operations, daily smoking, and a long distance from home to work. The result suggests that the population likely to experience future LBT does not enjoy good general health even prior to its first LBT episode, and this, in turn, may be due to greater psychosocial pressure.