Factors associated with prevalent and incident foot pain: data from the Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort Study

L. L. Laslett, H. B. Menz, P. Otahal, F. Pan, F. M. Cicuttini, G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe factors associated with prevalent and incident foot pain in a population-based cohort of older adults (n = 1092). Study design: Longitudinal observational study. Main outcome measures: Prevalent foot pain, incident foot pain after 5 years. Methods: Potential correlates included demographic factors, anthropometry, leg strength, metabolic factors, steps per day (using pedometer), pain at 6 other sites, and psychological wellbeing. Data were analysed using log binomial models. Results: Participants were aged 50–80 years (mean 63 years), 49% male, mean body mass index (BMI) 27.8 ± 4.7 at baseline. The prevalence of foot pain at baseline was 38% and the incidence of new pain over 5 years was 20%. BMI, pain at other sites (neck, hands, knees, pain at three or more sites), and poorer psychological wellbeing were independently associated with baseline foot pain. Baseline BMI and pain in the neck, hands, and knees were independently associated with incident foot pain; but change in weight or BMI, total number of painful joints and psychological wellbeing were not. Self-reported diabetes and cigarette smoking were not associated with prevalent or incident foot pain. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that greater body weight and joint pain at multiple sites were consistently associated with prevalent foot pain and predict incident foot pain. Addressing excess body mass and taking a global approach to the treatment of pain may reduce the prevalence and incidence of foot pain in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Aged
  • Body composition
  • Cohort studies
  • Foot
  • Obesity
  • Pain
  • Pain/epidemiology

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