Impact of persistent hip or knee pain on overall health status in elderly people: a longitudinal population study.
Dawson J., Linsell L., Zondervan K., Rose P., Carr A., Randall T., Fitzpatrick R.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate hip or knee symptoms in older persons from a longitudinal, population perspective, and to determine the impact of persistent hip or knee pain on general health status over time. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 5,500 individuals ages > or = 65 years containing the Short Form 36 (SF-36) general health survey, Lequesne hip and knee indices, and a hip/knee pain severity item. Respondents reporting hip or knee symptoms at baseline received an identical questionnaire 12 months later. Respondents were classified into a persistent pain group with either hip or knee pain at both baseline and followup, and a non-persistent pain group who reported hip or knee pain at baseline but no pain at followup. RESULTS: At baseline, 1,305 (40.7%) of 3,210 eligible respondents reported hip or knee pain. At 1 year, 1,072 (82.1%) of 1,305 individuals responded, of whom 820 (76.5%) remained symptomatic (the persistent group). In multivariate analysis, baseline factors identified as strongly related to having persistent pain were maximum Lequesne score (odds ratio [OR] 1.09, P < 0.001), maximum hip/knee pain score (OR 1.61, P < 0.001), and number of painful hip and knee joints at baseline (OR 1.48, P = 0.004). Following adjustment for age, sex, and baseline score, differences in mean SF-36 change scores of the 2 groups were significant for all dimensions except for mental health. CONCLUSION: In older persons, a symptomatic hip or knee frequently progresses in terms of worsening symptoms and accrual of other symptomatic hip or knee joints. The impact of persistent symptoms on general health is substantial.