Investigating the Association of Pain Intensity and Health Status among Older US Adults with Pain Who Used Opioids in 2020 Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

David R. Axon, Taylor Maldonado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The number of older United States (US) adults is increasing, yet extra life years are not always spent in good health. This study explored the relationship between pain intensity and health status among US adults aged ≥50 with pain who used an opioid in the 2020 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for demographic, economic, and health variables. Most (60.2%) older US adult opioid users with pain reported having good health (versus 39.8% poor health). In the fully adjusted analysis, those with extreme pain (odds ratio (OR) = 0.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.10, 0.35) and quite a bit of pain (OR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.19, 0.60) had lower odds of reporting good health compared to those with little pain. There was no statistical relationship between health status for moderate versus little pain. In addition, males (versus females; OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.91), white race (versus not white; OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.22, 0.84), education ≤high school (versus >high school; OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.41, 0.92), and current smoker (versus non-smoker; OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.32, 0.93) were associated with lower odds of reporting good health. Being employed (versus unemployed; OR = 1.88, 95% CI = 1.06, 3.33), having <2 chronic conditions (versus ≥2; OR = 4.38, 95% CI = 1.91, 10.02), and doing regular physical activity (versus not; OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.73, 4.19) were associated with higher odds of reporting good health. These variables should be considered when assessing the health needs and developing treatment plans for older US adult opioid users with pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2010
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • health status
  • older adults
  • opioids
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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