Sex differences in consequences of musculoskeletal pain

Hanneke A.H. Wijnhoven, Henrica C.W. De Vet, H. Susan J. Picavet*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    STUDY DESIGN. Cross-sectional population-based study. OBJECTIVE. To study sex differences in consequences of musculoskeletal pain (MP): limited functioning, work leave or disability, and healthcare use. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. MP is a major public health problem in developed countries due to high prevalence rates and considerable consequences. There are indications that consequences of MP differ for men and women. METHODS. Data of a Dutch population-based study were used, limited to persons 25 to 64 years of age (n = 2517). Data were collected by a postal questionnaire. RESULTS. Women with any MP report more healthcare use for MP, i.e., contact with a medical caregiver and use of medicines than men, while men report more work disability (ever in life) due to low back pain only, irrespective of work status. None of the sex differences can be explained by age, household composition, educational level, smoking status, overweight, physical activity, and pain catastrophizing. Older age was related to more limited functioning due to MP (women), work disability due to MP (men), and healthcare use due to MP (men and women). A one-person household was associated with work disability (women) and use of medicines (men). Low educational level was associated with limited functioning (men), work leave (men), contact with a medical caregiver (men), and work disability (men and women). Smoking was associated with limited functioning (men), work leave (women), and healthcare use (women). Physical inactivity was associated with limited functioning due to MP in women. Pain catastrophizing was associated with limited functioning, work leave, and healthcare use (men and women) and work disability (men). CONCLUSIONS. Consequences of MP show a slightly different pattern for men and women. Women with any MPreport more healthcare use for MP, while men report more work disability due to low back pain only. These sex differences can not be explained by general risk factors, but associations between these factors and consequences of MP show some sex differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1360-1367
    Number of pages8
    JournalSpine
    Volume32
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007

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