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The onset of widespread musculoskeletal pain is associated with a decrease in healthy ageing in older people: a population-based prospective study

Wilkie, Ross; Tajar, Abdelouahid; McBeth, John

The onset of widespread musculoskeletal pain is associated with a decrease in healthy ageing in older people: a population-based prospective study Thumbnail


Authors

Abdelouahid Tajar

John McBeth



Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Chronic musculoskeletal pain is common in older adults but the nature of its relationship with ageing is unclear. The objective for this study was to test the hypothesis that the onset of widespread pain would be associated with a decrease in healthy ageing. METHODS: Population-based prospective cohort study. A "healthy ageing" index was constructed across biomedical, physical, psychosocial and lay components. Analysis was performed with 2949 adults aged 50 years and over who had complete index scores at baseline, 3 and 6-year follow-ups. RESULTS: At three and six year follow-up, 365 (16.8%) and 259 (14.3%) experienced the onset of widespread pain. The onset of widespread pain during the six-year period was associated with a 25% and a 46% decrease in healthy ageing index scores; this decrease was independent of age, sex, education, social networks, smoking status, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity. The decrease in healthy ageing attenuated to 20% and 39% following adjustment for diagnosed musculoskeletal conditions and analgesic and non-steroidal use. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of widespread pain was associated with a decrease in healthy ageing throughout the six-year period. When pain increased over time, the markers of unhealthy ageing increased also. Strong analgesia was associated with unhealthy ageing. Research could now usefully test whether early identification, improved treatment and prevention of pain prior to old age may facilitate healthy ageing.

Citation

Wilkie, R., Tajar, A., & McBeth, J. (2013). The onset of widespread musculoskeletal pain is associated with a decrease in healthy ageing in older people: a population-based prospective study. PloS one, 8(3), e59858 - ?. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059858

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 21, 2013
Publication Date Mar 29, 2013
Journal PLoS One
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Pages e59858 - ?
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059858
Keywords Aged, Aging, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Status, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Musculoskeletal Pain, Pain Measurement, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Research Design, Surveys and Questionnaires
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059858

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