Relationship Between Persistent Pain and 5-year Mortality: a Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study.

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Peer Reviewed


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J Am Geriatr Soc

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

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DOI of Published Version


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OBJECTIVES: To assess the association between self-reported noncancer pain and 5-year mortality.

DESIGN: Cohort.

SETTING: Community-dwelling older adults.

PARTICIPANTS: Canadian Study of Health and Aging 1996 wave.

MEASUREMENTS: Registrar of Vital Statistics-established 5-year mortality. Noncancer pain was assessed using the 5-point verbal descriptor scale, dichotomized into no or very mild versus moderate, severe, or very severe pain. Frailty was the accumulation of health deficits. Cognitive status (Modified Mini-Mental State Examination) and depressed mood (five-item mental health screening questionnaire) were also assessed. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards were used to analyze the relationship between pain and 5-year mortality.

RESULTS: Of 5,703 participants, 4,694 (82.3%) had complete data for analysis; 1,663 of these (35.4%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain, and 1,343 (28.6%) had died at 5-year follow-up. Four hundred ninety-six of those who died (29.8%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain and 847 (27.9%) no or very mild pain. Multivariate logistic analysis found that individuals with moderate, severe, or very severe pain had lower odds of 5-year mortality than those with no or very mild pain (odds ratio=0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.66-0.92; P

CONCLUSION: Older women with pain were less likely to die within 5 years than older women without pain, men in pain, or men without pain.


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Canada, Comorbidity, Confounding Factors (Epidemiology), Female, Frail Elderly, Geriatric Assessment, Humans, Male, Pain, Pain Measurement, Prospective Studies, Questionnaires, Risk Factors

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