Impact of persistent hip or knee pain on overall health status in elderly people: A longitudinal population study

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To investigate hip or knee symptoms in older persons from a longitudinal, population perspective, and to determine the impact of persistent hip or knee pain on general health status over time.

Methods

A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 5,500 individuals ages ≥65 years containing the Short Form 36 (SF-36) general health survey, Lequesne hip and knee indices, and a hip/knee pain severity item. Respondents reporting hip or knee symptoms at baseline received an identical questionnaire 12 months later. Respondents were classified into a persistent pain group with either hip or knee pain at both baseline and followup, and a nonpersistent pain group who reported hip or knee pain at baseline but no pain at followup.

Results

At baseline, 1,305 (40.7%) of 3,210 eligible respondents reported hip or knee pain. At 1 year, 1,072 (82.1%) of 1,305 individuals responded, of whom 820 (76.5%) remained symptomatic (the persistent group). In multivariate analysis, baseline factors identified as strongly related to having persistent pain were maximum Lequesne score (odds ratio [OR] 1.09, P < 0.001), maximum hip/knee pain score (OR 1.61, P < 0.001), and number of painful hip and knee joints at baseline (OR 1.48, P = 0.004). Following adjustment for age, sex, and baseline score, differences in mean SF-36 change scores of the 2 groups were significant for all dimensions except for mental health.

Conclusion

In older persons, a symptomatic hip or knee frequently progresses in terms of worsening symptoms and accrual of other symptomatic hip or knee joints. The impact of persistent symptoms on general health is substantial.

Ancillary