Examining the Association of Pain and Financial Hardship Among Older Men by Race in the United States

Am J Mens Health. 2021 Sep-Oct;15(5):15579883211049605. doi: 10.1177/15579883211049605.


Pain associated with financial hardship among older men varies by race. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of financial hardship with the presence of pain in men 50 years and older by race. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2010 wave, bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the association between four financial hardship indicators and total financial hardship as a composite score, and the presence of pain by race. Among White men, the association between the presence of pain and hardship controlling for demographic factors was statistically significant across four indicators and one composite score: ongoing financial hardship (OR = 1.29, 95% CI [1.02, 1.64]), food insecurity (OR = 2.55, 95% CI [1.51, 4.31]), taking less medication due to cost (OR = 2.12, 95% CI [1.40, 3.22]), difficulty paying bills (OR = 1.36, 95% CI [1.07, 1.73]), and total financial hardship (OR = 1.27, 95% CI [1.12, 1.44]). Among African American men, the association between the presence of pain and taking less medication due to cost (OR = 2.99, 95% CI [1.31, 6.85]) was significant. With increasing comorbidities among older adults, particularly African Americans, it is imperative to fully understand the mechanisms of this underexplored area in both the pain and financial hardship literature.

Keywords: financial hardship; men; presence of pain; race.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Financial Stress*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Retirement*
  • United States / epidemiology