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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Jan;60(1):113-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03769.x. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Persistent pain and frailty: a case for homeostenosis.

Author information

  • 1Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine (MC 6098), 5841 S. Maryland Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, USA. jshega@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the association between self-reported moderate to severe pain and frailty.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging Wave 2.

SETTING:

Community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Representative sample of persons aged 65 and older in Canada.

MEASUREMENTS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

© 2011, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2011, The American Geriatrics Society.

PMID:
22150394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3258356
Free PMC Article
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