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Association between Chronic Pain and Physical Frailty in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Hypertension, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-0075, Japan
Tarumizu Municipal Medical Center, Tarumizu Chuo Hospital, Kagoshima 891-2124, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1330;
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatrics Syndromes Prevention)
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This cross-sectional study investigated the association between chronic pain and physical frailty in community-dwelling older adults. We analyzed data obtained from 323 older adults (women: 74.6%) who participated in a community-based health check survey (the Tarumizu Study, 2017). Physical frailty was defined in terms of five parameters (exhaustion, slowness, weakness, low physical activity, and weight loss). We assessed the prevalence of chronic low back and knee pain using questionnaires. Participants whose pain had lasted ≥two months were considered to have chronic pain. Among all participants, 138 (42.7%) had chronic pain, and 171 (53.0%) were categorized as having physical frailty or pre-frailty. Logistic regression analysis showed that chronic pain was significantly associated with the group combining frailty and pre-frailty (odds ratio 1.68, 95% confidence interval 1.03–2.76, p = 0.040) after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, score on the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, and medications. Comparing the proportions of chronic pain among participants who responded to the sub-items, exhaustion (yes: 65.9%, no: 39.4%) demonstrated a significant association (p < 0.001). Chronic pain could be associated with the group combining frailty and pre-frailty and is particularly associated with exhaustion in community-dwelling older adults. Therefore, there is a need for early intervention and consideration of the role of exhaustion when devising interventions for physical frailty in older individuals with chronic pain. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical frailty; chronic pain; older individuals physical frailty; chronic pain; older individuals

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Nakai, Y.; Makizako, H.; Kiyama, R.; Tomioka, K.; Taniguchi, Y.; Kubozono, T.; Takenaka, T.; Ohishi, M. Association between Chronic Pain and Physical Frailty in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1330.

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