Volume 53 Number 1, 2016
Pages 71 — 82
Abstract — Chronic pain and overweight/obesity are prevalent public health concerns and occur at particularly high rates among Veterans. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of two common painful conditions (back pain and arthritis/joint pain) among overweight/obese Veterans in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care. Participants (N = 45,477) completed the MOVE!23, a survey intended to tailor treatment for Veterans in VHA's MOVE! weight-management program. Overall, 72% of the sample reported painful conditions, with 10% reporting back pain, 26% reporting arthritis/joint pain, and 35% reporting both. We used multinomial logistic regression with "no pain" as the reference category to examine the association between painful conditions and participant characteristics. After multivariable adjustment, female Veterans had higher odds of reporting arthritis/joint pain and combined back and arthritis/joint pain than no pain. Participants with higher body mass index had higher odds of reporting arthritis/joint pain and both back and arthritis/joint pain. The likelihood of painful conditions was higher in Veterans with comorbidities (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, lung disease, depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder) and generally increased with the number of comorbidities reported (i.e., 5 or more). Overweight/obese Veterans frequently report painful conditions and, among those with pain, often have multiple comorbidities. These factors may increase the complexity of clinical management and necessitate refinements to weight-management programs.
Key words:arthritis, back pain, BMI, chronic pain, comorbidities, multimorbidity, obesity, overweight, Veterans, weight management.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:05 PM