Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Epidemiology of restricting back pain in community-living older persons.

Makris UE, Fraenkel L, Han L, Leo-Summers L, Gill TM. Epidemiology of restricting back pain in community-living older persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2011 Apr 1; 59(4):610-4.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the incidence of back pain leading to restricted activity (restricting back pain) in community-living older persons and to characterize its descriptive epidemiology. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Greater New Haven, Connecticut. PARTICIPANTS: Five hundred fifty nondisabled, community-living men and women aged 70 and older who did not report restricting back pain at baseline. MEASUREMENTS: Participants were interviewed monthly for over 10 years to ascertain the cumulative incidence, time to first episode, incidence rates (first and repeat episodes), and duration of restricting back pain. Cumulative incidence (proportions) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and incidence rates (per 1,000 person-months) were estimated using a Poisson regression model. RESULTS: During the more than 10 years of follow-up (median 107 months), the cumulative incidence of restricting back pain was 77.3% for men and 81.7% for women. The median time to the first episode was significantly shorter in women (25 months) than men (49 months) (P = .01). The incidence rates of restricting back pain per 1,000 person-months were 32.9 overall-24.4 for men and 37.5 for women (P < .001). There were no differences according to baseline age group. Of the 1,528 total episodes of restricting back pain, the median duration was 1.0 month, and only 6.4% lasted for 3 or more consecutive months. CONCLUSION: Restricting back pain in older persons is common, short-lived, and frequently episodic. The burden of restricting back pain is greater in older women than older men.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.