Chronic muscle pain increased risk for heart disease

Elderly individuals who experience chronic muscle pain are at significantly increased risk for heart disease, according to recent study results.

Researchers from Teesside University, Middlesbrough, England, Northern Ireland and America sampled more than 5,300 adults aged 45 years and older. Of participants aged 65 years and older, 32.5% reported having chronic musculoskeletal pain, of which 47% also had cardiovascular disease. Only 28% of participants 65 years and older had cardiovascular disease but no chronic musculoskeletal pain. Overall, participants 65 years and older with chronic musculoskeletal pain were 82% more likely to have cardiovascular problems vs. participants who did not have chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Researchers also found participants aged 45 years to 64 years who had chronic musculoskeletal pain were also at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. According to study results, 23% of participants with chronic musculoskeletal pain went on to develop cardiovascular disease compared with 14% who did not have chronic musculoskeletal pain.

“Our findings suggest that the appropriate management of chronic musculoskeletal pain should not simply be viewed as an intervention for chronic musculoskeletal pain in itself, but also a preventive strategy to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease,” Cormac Ryan, PhD, senior lecturer in research at the School of Health from Teesside University, stated in a press release. “Considering 10% of the world’s population report chronic musculoskeletal pain, this could have far reaching implications for cardiovascular disease prevention, giving support to previous calls for chronic musculoskeletal pain to be considered a public health priority.”

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