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Epidemiological profiles of chronic low back and knee pain in middle-aged and elderly Japanese from the Murakami cohort

Authors Takahashi A, Kitamura K, Watanabe Y, Kobayashi R, Saito T, Takachi R, Kabasawa K, Oshiki R, Tsugane S, Iki M, Sasaki A, Yamazaki O, Nakamura K

Received 21 August 2018

Accepted for publication 9 November 2018

Published 12 December 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 3161—3169

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S184746

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval


Akemi Takahashi,1 Kaori Kitamura,2 Yumi Watanabe,2 Ryosaku Kobayashi,3 Toshiko Saito,4 Ribeka Takachi,5 Keiko Kabasawa,6 Rieko Oshiki,1 Shoichiro Tsugane,7 Masayuki Iki,8 Ayako Sasaki,9 Osamu Yamazaki,10 Kazutoshi Nakamura2

1Department of Rehabilitation, Niigata University of Rehabilitation, Niigata, Japan; 2Division of Preventive Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan; 3Department of Physical Therapy, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan; 4Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan; 5Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Nara Women’s University Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Nara, Japan; 6Department of Health Promotion Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan; 7Center for Public Health Sciences, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan; 8Department of Public Health, Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan; 9Murakami Public Health Center, Niigata, Japan; 10Niigata Prefectural Office, Niigata, Japan

Purpose: Epidemiological profiles of chronic low back and knee pain have not been studied extensively. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of and potential risk factors associated with chronic low back and knee pain in middle-aged and elderly Japanese.
Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 14,217 community-dwelling individuals aged 40–74 years living in the Murakami area of Japan. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information regarding marital status, education level, occupation, household income, and body size. Participants also reported current chronic pain, if any, by site and degree of severity, using the verbal rating scale of the Short Form 36.
Results: The prevalence of moderate–very severe chronic pain was 9.7% in the low back, 6.7% in the knee, 13.9% in either the low back or knee, and 2.6% in both the low back and knee. Multivariate analysis revealed that lower education level, lower income, and manual occupation in men and older age and higher body mass index in women were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of chronic low back pain. In both sexes, older age, lower education level, and higher body mass index were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of knee pain. Regarding sex differences, adjusted ORs of chronic pain of the low back and knee for women were 0.85 (95% CI 0.75–0.97) and 1.27 (95% CI 1.09–1.49), respectively.
Conclusion: Nearly 14% of middle-aged and elderly individuals had moderate–very severe chronic pain of the low back or knee, and this pain was associated with many demographic factors, including sex, age, education level, household income, occupation, and body size.

Keywords: body mass index, chronic pain, demography, knee pain, low back pain, prevalence

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