The pains of a longer life: Gender differences in life expectancy free from musculoskeletal pain at age 65 in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Background. Life expectancy (LE) has increased. Health expectancy studies divide LE into life spent in different health conditions.
Objective. To describe the number of years spent with musculoskeletal pain in relation to total LE at age 65 in 1991/1992 and 2000/2002 and to examine the change in the proportion of LE spent free from musculoskeletal pain (pain-free life expectancy, PFLE) among men and women. Do the years added to life consist of years with or without musculoskeletal pain?
Methods. PFLE was calculated using Sullivan’s method by combining prevalence rates of musculoskeletal pain from two nationally representative population-based studies in Sweden (LNU and SWEOLD) from 1991/1992 and 2000/2002 and life tables from Statistics Sweden.
Results. In 1991/1992, both men and women aged 65 could expect to live 12 years free from musculoskeletal pain. However, the proportion of PFLE among men (75%) and women (60%) differed significantly (p = 0.000). Ten years later, both men and women could expect significantly more years with pain. PFLE among women had decreased to 51% (p = 0.059; 10.6 pain-free years, 10.0 years with pain); among men it had decreased to 68% (p = 0.152; 11.7 pain-free years, 5.5 years with pain).
Conclusions. The estimated proportion of pain-free LE at age 65 decreased between 1991/1992 and 2000/2002. For men, the number of pain-free years remained unchanged, but years with pain increased. For women, there was both a decrease in pain-free years and an increase in years with pain. Results suggest an expansion of morbidity in the older population.
gender, pain, healthy life expectancy, older people
Research subject Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55281OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-55281DiVA: diva2:402215