Persistent Pain and Frailty: A Case for Homeostenosis
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
© 2011, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2011, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 1, pages 113–117, January 2012
How to Cite
Shega, J. W., Dale, W., Andrew, M., Paice, J., Rockwood, K. and Weiner, D. K. (2012), Persistent Pain and Frailty: A Case for Homeostenosis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 113–117. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03769.x
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
- National Health Research Development Program
- Seniors’ Independence Research program. Grant Numbers: 6606-3954-MCS, K23AG029815
- National Institute on Aging
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Grant Number: MOP-62823
- Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
- QEII Research Foundation
- older adults;
To compare the association between self-reported moderate to severe pain and frailty.
Cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging Wave 2.
Representative sample of persons aged 65 and older in Canada.
Pain (exposure) was categorized as no or very mild pain versus moderate or greater pain. Frailty (outcome) was operationalized as the accumulation of 33 possible self-reported health attitudes, illnesses, and functional abilities, subsequently divided into tertiles (not frail, prefrail, and frail). Multivariable logistic regression assessed for the association between pain and frailty.
Of participants who reported moderate or greater pain (35.5%, 1,765/4,968), 16.2% were not frail, 34.1% were prefrail, and 49.8% were frail. For persons with moderate or greater pain, the odds of being prefrail rather than not frail were higher by a factor of 2.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.13–2.99; P < .001). For persons with moderate or greater pain, the odds of being frail rather than not frail were higher by a factor of 5.52 (95% CI = 4.49–6.64 P < .001).
Moderate or higher pain was independently associated with frailty. Although causality cannot be ascertained in a cross-sectional analysis, interventions to improve pain management may help prevent or ameliorate frailty.