Can pain increase the risk of dying early?

Pain that interferes with daily life, rather than pain per se, was associated with an increased risk of early death in a recent analysis.

Individuals who were often troubled with pain had a 29% increased risk of dying during the study, and those who reported "quite a bit" and "extreme" pain interference had 38% and 88% increased risks, respectively. Report of any pain or having widespread pain was not associated with an increased risk of mortality.

The study population was drawn from two large population cohorts of adults aged ?50 years; the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, with 6324 participants, and the North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis Project, with 10,985 participants.

Additional studies are needed to determine the mechanisms through which disabling pain may increase the risk of .

"There is much debate about whether people with persistent pain die prematurely and why this might happen. Our study sheds new light by showing that it is not the pain itself that increases the risk of death but the amount of disruption of everyday living linked to having long-term pain," said Dr. Ross Wilkie co-author of the Arthritis Care & Research study. "The implication is that society must find ways to help people with long-term pain to live life to the full at work, at home, and in the community."


Explore further

Noisy knees may be an early sign of knee osteoarthritis

More information: Diane Smith et al, Pain and mortality in older adults: The influence of pain phenotype, Arthritis Care & Research (2017). DOI: 10.1002/acr.23268
Journal information: Arthritis Care & Research

Provided by Wiley
Citation: Can pain increase the risk of dying early? (2017, June 7) retrieved 23 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-06-pain-dying-early.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more