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.