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Bothersome pain afflicts half of older Americans
Date:12/2/2013

rson interviews with 7,601 adults ages 65 years and older who were enrolled in the NHATS in 2011. All were Medicare beneficiaries.

The overall prevalence of bothersome pain in the last month in the study group was 52.9%. Pain did not vary across age groups, and this pattern remained unchanged when accounting for cognitive performance, dementia, proxy responses, and residential-care living status. Pain prevalence was higher in women and in older adults with obesity, musculoskeletal conditions, and depressive symptoms. The majority (74.9%) of older adults with pain reported multiple sites of pain.

Several measures of physical capacity, including muscle strength and lower-extremity physical performance, were associated with pain and multisite pain. For example, self-reported inability to walk three blocks was 72% higher in participants with pain than without pain. Participants with one, two, three, and four or more sites were 41%, 57%, 81%, and 105% more likely to report inability to walk three blocks, respectively, than older adults without pain.

"Considering that pain is often poorly managed in the geriatric population, our findings underscore the need for public health action, including additional epidemiologic research and the development and translation of interventions aimed at improving pain and function in older adults," Patel concludes.

Population aging is occurring in nearly every country of the world. Not only are the number and proportion of older adults increasing globally, but the older adult population itself is getting older as well. Gains in life expectancy at older ages have fueled the rapid growth of the oldest-old segment of the population, although it is unclear whether improvements in functional status of older adults have kept pace. Since disability in late life is a major predictor of medical and social service needs, investigating risk factors for functional decline is a major public health priority. Today's
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Contact: Terry Materese
painmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3196
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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