OBJECTIVE To determine the prevalence and sites of musculoskeletal complaints and some associated health consequences among elderly Chinese. METHODS A random sample of all subjects aged 70 years and over stratified by age and sex. Information collected by questionnaire at an interview. RESULTS Nineteen to 41% of subjects complained of pain at various sites restricting activities, with a higher prevalence for women. The most common 4 sites involved in order of frequency were knee, upper back, ankle/foot, and shoulder. Back pain increased with age in men to reach the same frequency as women in the 90+ age group. Between 6 to 10% of men and 9 to 14% of women used nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Pain limiting activities were associated with a lower Barthel index, use of walking aids, increased frequency of doctor consultations, sleep disturbance, and higher depressive symptom scores. CONCLUSION Prevention of conditions resulting in musculoskeletal complaints would be important in the promotion of healthy active life expectancy in the elderly.
J. Woo, S. Ho, J. Lau
The Journal of rheumatology