Back Pain and Quality of Life in Elderly Women

  • K. Zhu
  • R. L. Prince
Reference work entry


 Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal symptoms affecting the elderly population. The  prevalence of back pain in elderly people is not known with certainty, but is likely to range between 13% and 49%. Back pain is associated with reduced quality of life and physical function in the elderly. Our 5-year study with 1,484 community dwelling Australian women aged 70–85 years showed that 22% women suffered from daily back at baseline and this rate increased to 27% 5 years later. Compared to those with infrequent (<1/month) back pain, women with daily back pain had significantly lower quality of life physical component score and reduced physical function as assessed by the  Timed Up and Go test (TUAG) and the  Barthel Index at both baseline and 5 years. New or more frequent back pain at 5 years was also associated with greater reduction in the quality of life physical component score and mobility compared to baseline. Daily back was associated with 103% higher risk of mortality after adjustment for baseline age in this population. In conclusion, frequent back pain is a serious health problem in elderly women. Management of back pain and health conditions related to back pain are likely to be important in the maintenance of functional independence and well-being of elderly women.


Back Pain Elderly Woman Mental Component Score Physical Component Score Hospital Morbidity Data System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


activity of daily living


 hazard ratio


 health related quality of life


mental component score


osteoporosis assessment questionnaire


physical component score


medical outcome study short form-36 questionnaire


timed up and go test


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Zhu
  • R. L. Prince

There are no affiliations available

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