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

Relationship between persistent pain and 5-year mortality: a population-based prospective cohort study.

Shega JW, Andrew M, Kotwal A, Lau DT, Herr K, Ersek M, Weiner DK, Chin MH, Dale W. Relationship between persistent pain and 5-year mortality: a population-based prospective cohort study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2013 Dec 9; 61(12):2135-41.

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 assess the association between self-reported noncancer pain and 5-year mortality. DESIGN: Cohort. SETTING: Community-dwelling older adults. PARTICIPANTS: Canadian Study of Health and Aging 1996 wave. MEASUREMENTS: Registrar of Vital Statistics-established 5-year mortality. Noncancer pain was assessed using the 5-point verbal descriptor scale, dichotomized into no or very mild versus moderate, severe, or very severe pain. Frailty was the accumulation of health deficits. Cognitive status (Modified Mini-Mental State Examination) and depressed mood (five-item mental health screening questionnaire) were also assessed. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards were used to analyze the relationship between pain and 5-year mortality. RESULTS: Of 5,703 participants, 4,694 (82.3%) had complete data for analysis; 1,663 of these (35.4%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain, and 1,343 (28.6%) had died at 5-year follow-up. Four hundred ninety-six of those who died (29.8%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain and 847 (27.9%) no or very mild pain. Multivariate logistic analysis found that individuals with moderate, severe, or very severe pain had lower odds of 5-year mortality than those with no or very mild pain (odds ratio = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.66-0.92; P < .001). The risk of death was lower in persons reporting moderate or greater pain than in those with no or very mild pain (HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.75-0.96; P = .01). An interaction between pain and sex explained this effect. Men with pain were not significantly more likely than men without pain to die (HR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.84-1.19; P = .99), whereas women without pain (HR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.47-0.63; P < 0.01) and women with pain (HR = 0.40; CI = 0.33-0.47; P < .01) had less risk of death than men without and with pain, respectively. CONCLUSION: Older women with pain were less likely to die within 5 years than older women without pain, men in pain, or men without pain.

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.