Is the report of widespread body pain associated with long-term increased mortality? Data from the Mini-Finland Health Survey.
ABSTRACT To determine whether an observation in a UK study, that persons with chronic widespread pain are at long-term increased risk of cancer mortality, can be replicated in a different setting.
Subjects were participants aged >or=30 yrs in the Mini-Finland Health Survey conducted between 1979 and 1980. Information collected included prevalent pains at different joints throughout the body, demographic, anthropometric, lifestyle and occupational factors. During follow-up, until 1994, information on vital status and cause of death was obtained.
7182 persons participated (89.8%). The prevalence of widespread body pain (pain at four or more sites) was 20% in females and 12% in males, and during follow-up there were a total of 1647 deaths. The risk of death was not elevated amongst those with widespread pain [relative risk (RR): 0.86; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74-1.00], and in particular, those with widespread pain were at a slightly lower risk of several disease-specific causes of death and cancer death (RR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.46-0.91).
This study of multiple pains has not confirmed a previous observation of an association between the reporting of widespread pain and subsequent increased risk of cancer death. Differences in the definitions used or, more probably, the population studied, in particular, a larger rural population with more multiple pains related to physical activity may account for the differences.
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ABSTRACT: Background Chronic pain is common, often widespread and has a substantial impact on health and quality of life. The relationship between chronic pain and mortality is unclear. This systematic review aimed to identify and evaluate evidence for a relationship between chronic pain and mortality. Methods A search of ten electronic databases including EMBASE and MEDLINE was conducted in March 2012, and updated until March 2014. Observational studies investigating the association between chronic or widespread pain (including fibromyalgia) and mortality were included. Risk of bias was assessed and a meta-analysis was undertaken to quantify heterogeneity and pool results. A narrative review was undertaken to explore similarities and differences between the included studies. Results Ten studies were included in the review. Three reported significant associations between chronic or widespread pain and mortality in unadjusted results. In adjusted analyses, four studies reported a significant association. The remaining studies reported no statistically significant association. A meta-analysis showed statistically significant heterogeneity of results from studies using comparable outcome measures (n = 7)(I2 = 78.8%) and a modest but non-significant pooled estimate (MRR1.14,95%CI 0.95–1.37) for the relationship between chronic pain and all-cause mortality. This association was stronger when analysis was restricted to studies of widespread pain (n = 5,I2 = 82.3%) MRR1.22(95%CI 0.93–1.60). The same pattern was observed with deaths from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Heterogeneity is likely to be due to differences in study populations, follow-up time, pain phenotype, methods of analysis and use of confounding factors. Conclusion This review showed a mildly increased risk of death in people with chronic pain, particularly from cancer. However, the small number of studies and methodological differences prevented clear conclusions from being drawn. Consistently applied definitions of chronic pain and further investigation of the role of health, lifestyle, social and psychological factors in future studies will improve understanding of the relationship between chronic pain and mortality.PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99048. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099048 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background This study aims to determine whether older adults reporting back pain (BP) are at increased risk of premature mortality, specifically, to examine the association with disabling/non-disabling pain separately.Methods Participants aged ≥75 years were recruited to the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort (CC75C) study. Participants answered interviewer-administered questions on BP and were followed up until death. The relationship between BP and mortality was examined using Cox regression, adjusted for potential confounding factors. Separate models were computed for men and women.ResultsFrom 1174 individuals with BP data, the date of death was known for 1158 (99%). A significant association was found between disabling BP and mortality (hazard ratio: 1.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.1–1.8) and this remained, albeit of borderline significance, following adjustment for socio-demographic variables and potential disease markers (1.3; 0.99–1.7). Further, this association was found to vary with sex: women experienced a 40% increase in the risk of mortality associated with disabling BP (1.4; 1.1–1.9), whereas no such increase was observed for men (1.0; 0.5–1.9). Participants with non-disabling BP were not at increased risk of mortality.Conclusions This study confirmed previous findings regarding the relationship between pain and excess mortality. Further, we have shown that, among older adults, this association is specific to disabling pain and to women. Clinicians should be aware not only of the short-term implications of disabling BP but also the longer-term effects. Future research should attempt to understand the mechanisms underpinning this relationship to avoid excess mortality and should aim to determine why the relationship differs in men and women.European Journal of Pain 07/2014; DOI:10.1002/ejp.568 · 3.22 Impact Factor