Role of Allostatic Load in Sociodemographic Patterns of Pain Prevalence in the US Population
ABSTRACT Persistent stressors associated with sociodemographic disadvantage exert a physiologic toll, labeled "allostatic load," that contributes to disparities in some health conditions. We investigated the contribution of allostatic load to pain prevalence in U.S. adults. Interviews with 14,184 adults in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey asked about severe headache, pain that lasted >24 hours, and widespread pain. Ten biomarkers of allostatic load were quantified from blood (glycated hemoglobin), serum (C-reactive protein, homocysteine, cholesterol, triglycerides), urine (creatinine, albumin), and physical measurements (body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure). Log-binomial regression models estimated prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Prevalence ranged from 3.4% for widespread pain to 26.9% for pain >24 hours. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, low income was associated with greater prevalence of pain >24 hours (PR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.49, 1.83), severe headache (PR = 2.05, 95% CI = 1.68, 2.50), and widespread pain (PR = 3.67, 95% CI = 2.56, 5.27). Racial/ethnic minorities had lower prevalence of all 3 pain conditions than non-Hispanic whites. While greater allostatic load was associated with elevated prevalence of pain, allostatic load did not meaningfully attenuate PRs associated with income or race/ethnicity. We conclude that greater pain prevalence among low-income groups is not explained by greater allostatic load. PERSPECTIVE: In U.S. adults, pain occurs more frequently in lower-income groups, although the relationship is not attributable to their experience of greater allostatic load. While allostatic load contributes to population variation in pain, other etiologic mechanisms contributing to pain are needed to account for income disparities in pain.
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ABSTRACT: Although cross-sectional studies of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) often report elevated prevalence in young women, they do not address the risk of its development. Here we evaluate sociodemographic predictors of TMD incidence in a community-based prospective cohort study of U.S. adults. Symptoms and pain-related disability in TMD cases are also described. People aged 18 to 44 years with no history of TMD were enrolled at 4 study sites when they completed questionnaires about sociodemographic characteristics. During the median 2.8-year follow-up period, 2,737 participants completed quarterly screening questionnaires. Those reporting symptoms were examined clinically and 260 had first-onset TMD. Additional questionnaires asked about severity and impact of their symptoms. Univariate and multivariable Cox regression models quantified associations between sociodemographic characteristics and TMD incidence. First-onset TMD developed in 3.9% of participants per annum, typically producing mild to moderate levels of pain and disability in cases. TMD incidence was positively associated with age, whereas females had only slightly greater incidence than males. Compared to whites, Asians had lower TMD incidence whereas African Americans had greater incidence, although the latter was attenuated somewhat after adjusting for satisfaction with socioeconomic circumstances. Perspective In this study of 18- to 44-year-olds, TMD developed at a higher rate than reported previously for similar age groups. TMD incidence was positively associated with age but weakly associated with gender, thereby differing from demographic patterns of prevalence found in some cross-sectional studies. Experiences related to aging merit investigation as etiologic influences on development of TMD.Journal of Pain 12/2013; 14(12):T20–T32.e3. DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2013.07.014 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic widespread pain (CWP) is a common and potentially debilitating disorder. Patterns of physical activity (PA) in adults with CWP have primarily been investigated using subjective, self-report measures. The current study sought to characterize PA among community-dwelling individuals with CWP, chronic regional pain (CRP), or no chronic pain (NCP) using objective measurements obtained via accelerometry in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data from 3,952 participants ages 20 and older were analyzed to assess relationships between pain status and objective measurements of PA. Prevalence of CWP was 3.3% and 5.4% for men and women, respectively. In men and women, the average activity counts per minute (CPM) and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA were significantly lower for the CWP group than for the NCP group. Interestingly, time spent in sedentary, light, and lifestyle activities were not associated with pain status. Statistical interaction tests indicated that the effects of chronic pain on CPM were stronger in men than in women. Despite recommendations for increased moderate-to-vigorous PA as a pain management strategy for CWP, results from this nationally representative study indicate that adults with CWP participate in less moderate-to-vigorous PA than individuals without chronic pain. Using objective measurement of physical activity in a nationally representative sample, this study demonstrates adults with chronic widespread pain participate in reduced daily and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in comparison to people with no chronic pain. Findings indicate that clinicians should emphasize the importance of increasing PA in patients with CWP.The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 01/2014; 15(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.489 · 4.22 Impact Factor