Article

Is the report of widespread body pain associated with long-term increased mortality? Data from the Mini-Finland Health Survey.

Aberdeen Pain Research Collaboration, Epidemiology Group, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 05/2007; 46(5):805-7. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kel403
Source: PubMed

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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