Restricting Back Pain and Subsequent Disability in Activities of Daily Living Among Community-Living Older Adults

Una E. Makris, Mark A. Weinreich, Liana Fraenkel, Ling Han, Linda Leo-Summers, Thomas M. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the relationship between back pain severe enough to restrict activity (restricting back pain) and subsequent disability in essential (e) and instrumental (i) activities of daily living (ADL) among community-living older adults. Method: In this prospective cohort study, we evaluated 754 adults, aged ≥70 years who were initially nondisabled in eADL. Restricting back pain and disability were assessed during monthly interviews for up to 159 months. Associations between restricting back pain and subsequent eADL and iADL disability were evaluated using recurrent events Cox models, adjusted for fixed-in-time and time-varying covariates. Results: Strong associations were found between restricting back pain and eADL and iADL disability, with hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 3.47 [3.01, 3.90] and 2.33 [2.08, 2.61], respectively. Discussion: Restricting back pain was independently associated with subsequent disability in eADL and iADL. Interventions focused on decreasing restricting back pain in older adults may have the potential to reduce the subsequent burden of disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1482-1494
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • activities of daily living
  • aged
  • back pain
  • cohort studies
  • disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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