Prevalence of lower extremity pain and its association with functionality and quality of life in elderly women in Australia

J. Chen, A. Devine, Ian Dick, S.S. Dhaliwal, Richard Prince

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To determine the prevalence of self-reported lower extremity pain and the impact on functionality and quality of life in a population based study of elderly women in Western Australia.Methods. One thousand four hundred eighty-six women, 6.2% of 24,800 women aged over 70 in Perth, were recruited. An index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage (SES) was derived from postcode. Self-reported lower extremity pain at the hip, knee, and foot was collected by questionnaire. The frequency of lower extremity pain was classified into 5 groups. Mobility was measured by the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG). Quality of life was measured using the Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) summary statistics: physical and mental component scores (PCS and MCS).Results. The prevalence of women reporting any hip, knee, and foot pain was 39%, 52%, and 34% respectively. Fourteen percent experienced pain at all sites whereas 28% had no pain. There was no age difference between the various pain groups. Women with more pain were heavier and had higher BMI Scores. At all lower limb sites, women with more frequent pain had reduced mobility and lower quality of life as measured by TUG, PCS, and MCS. For the TUG test, significant determinants in stepwise regression were age, BMI, knee and hip pain. For the SF-36 PCS, significant predictors were age, SES, BMI, and foot, knee, and hip pain. For the SF-36 MCS, SES and foot pain were significant predictors.Conclusions. Our results confirm the high prevalence of lower extremity pain in elderly women in Australia. Lower extremity pain significantly reduced both physical and mental aspects of the quality of life as well as mobility. In view of the availability of effective interventions to reduce joint pain, more aggressive intervention in the most disabled is indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2689-2693
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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