Correlates of a Recent History of Disabling Low Back Pain in Community-dwelling Older Persons: The Pain in the Elderly (PAINEL) Study

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To investigate the correlates of a recent history of disabling low back pain (LBP) in older persons.

Materials and Methods:

The Pain in the Elderly (PAINEL) Study was derived from the Frailty among Brazilian Older Adults (FIBRA) Network Study. Data were collected through face-to-face/telephone interviews and clinical examination. A series of logistic regressions assessed associations between a recent history of disabling LBP and sociodemographic, physical/lifestyle, and psychological factors.


Of the 378 community-dwelling elders included in the study (age±SD, 75.5±6.1), 9.3% experienced LBP that was bad enough to limit or change their daily activities during the past year. Those reporting a recent history of disabling LBP were more likely to be women and under financial strain, to present poor self-rated health, overweight, multimorbidity, low physical activity level, fatigue, depressive symptomatology/diagnosis and fear beliefs, and to report decreased sleep time, prolonged sitting time, chronic pain (in location other than lower back), and frequently recurring LBP. The multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that overweight (odds ratio [OR], 29.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-391.0), low physical activity level (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.3-15.4), fatigue (OR, 10.3; 95% CI, 2.4-43.4), depression diagnosis (OR, 4.9; 95% CI, 1.3-18.4), and frequently recurring LBP (OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.0-20.1) were independently associated with a recent history of disabling LBP.


Our study supports the link between disabling LBP and other age-related chronic conditions in a middle-income country with a rapidly aging population.

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