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Longevity Pain Management

Persistent Pain May Accelerate Signs of Aging by Two to Three Decades

9 years, 2 months ago

1144  0
Posted on Sep 22, 2009, 8 a.m.

The disability profile of midlife adults with pain resembles that of people who are two or three decades older who do not experience pain.   A study by Kenneth E. Kovinsky, from University of California – San Francisco (USA), and colleagues finds that people with pain develop the functional limitations classically associated with aging at much earlier ages. The researchers analyzed data from the 18,531participants, aged 50 and older, who took part in the 2004 Health and Retirement Study.  

The disability profile of midlife adults with pain resembles that of people who are two or three decades older who do not experience pain.   A study by Kenneth E. Kovinsky, from University of California – San Francisco (USA), and colleagues finds that people with pain develop the functional limitations classically associated with aging at much earlier ages. The researchers analyzed data from the 18,531participants, aged 50 and older, who took part in the 2004 Health and Retirement Study.   They looked at markers of functional capabilities, identifying limitations that impair the ability to live independently.  24% of study participants had significant pain (often troubled by pain that was moderate or severe most of the time) and across markers of functional capabilities, participants with pain had much higher rates of functional limitations than subjects without pain. In the mobility function as an example, of subjects aged 50 to 59 without pain 37% were able to jog 1 mile and 91% were able to walk several blocks without difficulty, compared to only 9% and 50% respectively in those with pain.

States Dr. Covinsky:    “We found that the abilities of those aged 50 to 59 with pain were far more comparable to subjects aged 80 to 89 without pain.  …. [P]ain sufferers appear 20 to 30 years older than non-pain sufferers.  Across all four measures [of functional capabilities], participants with significant pain were at much higher risk for having functional limitations.”

Covinsky KE, Lindquist K, Dunlop DD, Yelin E; Pain, Functional Limitations, and Aging; AGS 2009; Volume 57 Issue 9, Pages 1556 – 1561; DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02388.x.;  in Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons; American Geriatrics Society Panel on the Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons; JAGS 57:1331–1346, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02376.x.

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