Musculoskeletal complaints and associated consequences in elderly Chinese aged 70 years and over

J Rheumatol. 1994 Oct;21(10):1927-31.


Objective: To determine the prevalence and sites of musculoskeletal complaints and some associated health consequences among elderly Chinese.

Methods: A random sample of all subjects aged 70 years and over stratified by age and sex. Information collected by questionnaire at an interview.

Results: Nineteen to 41% of subjects complained of pain at various sites restricting activities, with a higher prevalence for women. The most common 4 sites involved in order of frequency were knee, upper back, ankle/foot, and shoulder. Back pain increased with age in men to reach the same frequency as women in the 90+ age group. Between 6 to 10% of men and 9 to 14% of women used nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Pain limiting activities were associated with a lower Barthel index, use of walking aids, increased frequency of doctor consultations, sleep disturbance, and higher depressive symptom scores.

Conclusion: Prevention of conditions resulting in musculoskeletal complaints would be important in the promotion of healthy active life expectancy in the elderly.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Asian People*
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Back Pain / physiopathology
  • China / ethnology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires