Hypertension prevalence in patients attending tertiary pain management services, a registry-based Australian cohort study

Melita J. Giummarra, Hilarie Tardif, Megan Blanchard, Andrew Tonkin, Carolyn A. Arnold

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Persistent pain and hypertension often co-occur, and share several biological and lifestyle risk factors. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of, and factors associated with, hypertension in the largest cohort of patients seeking treatment in 43 tertiary pain clinics in Australia. Adults aged > = 18 years registered to the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration registry between 2013 and 2018 were included if they had persistent non-cancer pain (N = 43,789). Risk Ratios (RRs) compared prevalence of selfreported hypertension with the general and primary care Australian populations, and logistic regression examined factors associated with hypertension. One in four (23.9%) patients had hypertension, which was higher than the Australian adult population (2014-15: RR = 5.86, 95%CI: 5.66, 6.06; 2017-18: RR = 9.40, 95%CI: 9.01, 9.80), and in primary care patients (2011-13: RR = 1.17, 95%CI: 1.15, 1.20). Adjusting for covariates, patients with higher odds of hypertension were older, lived in regions with higher socioeconomic disadvantage, had higher levels of BMI, were born outside the Oceania/Australasia region, and had comorbid arthritis, diabetes, or severe-extremely severe anxiety symptoms. Female patients and those with depression symptoms had lower adjusted odds. Unadjusted analyses showed an association between widespread pain, pain duration, pain severity and interference, and lower pain self-efficacy with hypertension; however, only pain severity remained significant in adjusted analyses. Hypertension was more prevalent in people with persistent pain than in the general community, was associated with more severe pain, and commonly co-occurred with pain-related impairments. Routine hypertension screening and treatment targeting shared mechanisms of hypertension and pain may improve treatment outcomes in the pain clinic setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228173
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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