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The Journals of Gerontology: Series A

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Aging -- Research, Central Nervous System Sensitization, Epidemiology



Musculoskeletal pain, a possible marker of central sensitization, is associated with higher prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among older men. We investigated whether musculoskeletal pain is associated with LUTS progression.


Participants were 5 569 men age ≥65 years enrolled in the prospective, multicenter Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study. Self-reported musculoskeletal pain within 12 months before baseline was categorized as any pain and multilocation pain. Pain interference within 4 weeks of baseline was assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire. LUTS were assessed repeatedly with the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUA-SI). Men with severe LUTS at baseline were excluded. LUTS progression was defined as the first occurrence of a ≥4-point AUA-SI increase during a 2-year follow-up interval. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multivariable pooled logistic regression.


LUTS progression was 37% higher among men with any musculoskeletal pain compared with men without pain (IRR 1.37, 95% CI: 1.21, 1.54). Positive associations were also observed between LUTS progression and pain at 1 (IRR 1.31, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.48) and ≥2 locations (IRR 1.42, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.60). Compared with men without pain interference, men with quite a bit/extreme pain interference were most likely to experience LUTS progression (minimal interference IRR 1.15, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.26; moderate interference IRR 1.28, 95% CI: 1.11, 1.45; quite a bit/extreme interference IRR 1.47, 95% CI: 1.22, 1.71).


Among men initially without severe LUTS, musculoskeletal pain is associated with an increased risk of LUTS progression. Studies using validated measures of central sensitization and LUTS progression among men are warranted.


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