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Association of body pain and chronic disease: evidence from a 7-year population-based study in China
  1. Yaxin Luo1,
  2. Zheran Liu2,
  3. Lianlian Yang2,
  4. Juejin Li3,
  5. Qiang Zhang4,
  6. Xingchen Peng2 and
  7. Xiaolin Hu3
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, West China School of Public Health and West China Fourth Hospital/National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  2. 2Department of Biotherapy, National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics, Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  3. 3Department of Nursing, National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, West China School of Public Health and West China Fourth Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  1. Correspondence to Xiaolin Hu; huxiaolin1220{at}126.com; Dr Xingchen Peng; pxx2014{at}163.com; Dr Qiang Zhang; qiangzhang{at}scu.edu.cn

Abstract

Background Evidence is limited on the risk impact of body pain on future chronic disease. The present study aimed to investigate the association between body pain and chronic diseases.

Methods Data were analyzed using four waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study with 17 708 individual respondents aged 45 years and older. The association between body pain and chronic disease was estimated in both a cross-sectional cohort (2011) and a longitudinal cohort (2011–2018). The key outcomes include the incidence of overall and any specific chronic diseases. The associations among different body pain sites and 10 independent chronic disease risks were also assessed.

Findings A total of 17 128 participants in 2011 were included in the cross-sectional cohort and 5611 participants were included in the 2011–2018 longitudinal cohort. Body pain showed an association with overall chronic disease in both the cross-sectional models (OR 2.71, 95% CI 2.47 to 2.98) and longitudinal model (risk ratio (RR) 1.21, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.35). Moreover, body pain was found to be associated with an increased risk of chronic respiratory disease (RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.92), heart disease (RR 1.45, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.89), kidney disease (RR 1.83, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.6), and digestive disease (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.88).

Conclusion Body pain is associated with major disease and mortality. Future clinical research should be targeted to whether or not improved pain control can mitigate this population-level disease burden.

  • chronic pain
  • epidemiology
  • complex regional pain syndromes

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) data are freely available to researchers through the CHARLS official website at: http://charls.pku.edu.cn/.

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Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) data are freely available to researchers through the CHARLS official website at: http://charls.pku.edu.cn/.

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Footnotes

  • YL and ZL are joint first authors.

  • YL and ZL contributed equally.

  • Contributors XP and ZL conceived the idea for the study. XH, QZ, and YL designed the study methodology. LY and JL accessed and validated the dataset. YL carried out the formal data analysis. ZL and YL interpreted the data. ZL wrote the first draft of the report. XH, XP, and QZ provided advice on the first draft and revised the report critically for important intellectual content. All authors reviewed and had final approval of the submitted and published versions.

  • Funding The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81672386 and 81803104), the Sichuan Province Science and Technology Support Program (No. 2021YFSY008), and the technology Innovation Project of Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau (No. 2019-YF05-00459-SN).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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