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Frequent back pain in women in age can be a precursor to premature death

Frequent and regular back pain associated with premature death among older women, the researchers found . Boston medical center (Boston Medical Center). Their scientific work was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study involved more than 8,000 elderly women observed by an average of about 14 years. Scientists came to the conclusion that women who reported frequent or constant back pain, the risk of death was higher by 24% higher compared with women who did not have back pain.

Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and women aged 40-80 years are most likely to complain about it. As a rule, women are more likely than men to report frequent and debilitating back pain.

The results of our study raise the question of whether more effective treatment for back pain prevent disability, improve quality of life and ultimately extend the life, says the study’s lead author and a member of the Boston medical center, Eric Rosen (Eric Roseen).

The causes of back pain, the researchers then re-examined participants two years later and conducted an analysis of the causes of back pain. Four years later, study participants were again interviewed, and to observe their everyday life. The researchers found that disability occurring as the result of back pain, largely explains the subsequent connection of pain with mortality.

In particular, the difficulties associated with performing certain everyday actions such as walking short distances or cooking, explains almost half (47%) deaths as a result of frequent and constant pain in the back. Slow performance of household functions (speed of movement or frequency of getting up from a chair) explained this connection in about a quarter of cases (respectively 27% and 24%). From 8321 women who participated in the study, 56% died during the period of monitoring, that is 14.1 years. However, of those who complained of pain in the back, died of 68.5%, and of those who did not have such pain of 53.5%.

Although the study findings are consistent with results of previous studies that found a link between low back pain in elderly women and increased risk of death, but still was unclear the reason for this.

Back pain can directly inhibit the daily activities of people – the elderly can try to avoid perform everyday functions because of fear of injury or worsening of the symptoms. The inability to perform or the desire to avoid performing everyday functions can lead to weight gain, development or progression of other chronic diseases and, ultimately, to premature death, says Rosen.

Dmitry Kolesnik