BACKGROUND: The aim was to examine if self reported chronic regional pain (CRP) and chronic widespread pain (CWP) predicted inpatient care due to serious medical conditions such as cerebrovascular diseases, ischemic heart diseases, neoplasms and infectious diseases in a general population cohort over a ten year follow-up period.
METHODS: A ten-year follow up of a cohort from the general adult population in two health care districts with mixed urban and rural population in the south of Sweden, that in 1995 participated in a survey on health and musculoskeletal pain experience. Information on hospitalisation for each subject was taken from the regional health care register. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to study the associations between chronic musculoskeletal pain and different medical conditions as causes of hospitalisation.
RESULTS: A report of CRP (OR = 1.6; p < 0.001) or CWP ( OR = 2.1; p < 0.001) predicted at least one episode of inpatient care over a ten year period, with an increased risk in almost all diagnostic subgroups, including cerebrovascular diseases, ischemic heart diseases, and infectious diseases. There was however no increased risk of hospitalisation due to neoplasms.
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of especially CWP was associated with hospital inpatient care due to several serious medical disorders. This may imply a general vulnerability to different medical conditions that has to be addressed in the assessment and management of subjects with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
London: BioMed Central, 2010. Vol. 11, 127