How common is hip pain among older adults? Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
To determine the incidence of self-reported significant hip pain using a nationally representative sample of older adults in the United States. Subjects were interviewed to determine their leisure time physical activity levels and whether they experienced severe hip pain. Sampling weights were calculated to account for unequal selection probabilities. The impact of race, age, and physical activity status was examined as influential factors affecting hip pain. We interviewed 6596 adults aged 60 years and older as part of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). We measured the prevalence of hip pain. A total of 14.3% of participants aged 60 years and older reported significant hip pain on most days over the past 6 weeks. Men reported hip pain less frequently than women. Age did not influence self-reported hip pain in men. The lowest prevalence of hip pain was found in women aged 60 to 70 years. Sixteen percent of non-Hispanic white women reported hip pain, compared with 14.8% of black women and 19.3% of Mexican American women. Among non-Hispanic white men, 12.4% reported hip pain, a proportion no different from that of their black and Mexican American male counterparts. Among older US adults, 18.4% of those who had not participated in leisure time physical activity during the previous month reported severe hip pain; 12.6% of those who did engage in physical activity reported hip pain. Self-reported hip pain has increased since NHANES I (1971-1975). Further studies are needed to identify individuals at highest risk for severe hip pain and to identify optimal treatment of hip pain.