Musculoskeletal pain and use of analgesics in relation to mobility limitation among community-dwelling persons aged 75 years and older

Authors

  • N. Karttunen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Pharmacology and Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Unit, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    • Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
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    • Contributed equally to the work.
  • K. Lihavainen,

    1. Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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    • Contributed equally to the work.
  • S. Sipilä,

    1. Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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  • T. Rantanen,

    1. Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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  • R. Sulkava,

    1. School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Division of Geriatrics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Department of Neurology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
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  • S. Hartikainen

    1. Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Clinical Pharmacology and Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Unit, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    3. Leppävirta Health Centre, Leppävirta, Finland
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  • Funding sources

    None

  • Conflicts of interests

    None declared

Correspondence

N. Karttunen, K. Lihavainen

Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, P.O. Box 1627, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio 70211, Finland (N. Karttunen), Gerontology Research Centre, P.O. Box 35, University of Jyväskylä, Viveca FIN- 40014, Finland (K. Lihavainen).

E-mail: niina.karttunen@uef.fi, katri.lihavainen@jyu.fi

Abstract

Pain and factors related to it constitute serious health problems in the older population. This populationbased cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether musculoskeletal pain is associated with mobility limitation and whether the relationship between pain and mobility limitation varies according to the use of analgesics among community-dwelling older people.

A total of 622 community-dwelling participants aged 75 years and older (mean age 80.4, 74% women) were interviewed about presence and severity of musculoskeletal pain. Self-reported analgesic drug utilization was verified against medical records. Mobility limitation was assessed by the Timed Up & Go test (TUG) time of >13.5 s or inability to perform the test. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the pain-affect associations, with associations expressed as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI). After adjustment for several covariates, musculoskeletal pain remained independently associated with mobility limitation (odds ratio = 1.83; 95% CI 1.16, 2.89). The risk of mobility limitation was highest among those who reported severe or moderate pain (1.84; 1.13, 3.13) and among those who used analgesics (2.37; 1.37, 4.11). In conclusion, musculoskeletal pain increases the risk for mobility limitation. The present findings underline the importance of the careful assessment and pharmacological and nonpharmacological management of pain in promoting mobility in older age.

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