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Pain among older Hispanics in the United States: is acculturation associated with pain?

TitlePain among older Hispanics in the United States: is acculturation associated with pain?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJimenez, N, Dansie, E, Buchwald, D, Goldberg, J
JournalPain MedPain Med
Volume14
Pagination1134-9
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number1526-4637 (Electronic)<br/>1526-2375 (Linking)
Accession Number23718576
KeywordsAcculturation, Aged, Confidence Intervals, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Status, Hispanic Americans/ statistics & numerical data, Humans, Language, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Pain Measurement, Pain/ epidemiology, Prevalence, Socioeconomic Factors, United States/epidemiology
AbstractBACKGROUND: Previous studies suggest that acculturation may influence the experience of pain. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the association between acculturation and the prevalence, intensity, and functional limitations of pain in older Hispanic adults in the United States. METHODS SUBJECTS: Participants were English- (HE) and Spanish-speaking (HS) Hispanic and non-Hispanic White (NHW) individuals aged 50 years and older who were interviewed for the Health and Retirement Study during 1998-2008. MEASURES: We measured: 1) acculturation as defined by language used in interviews, and 2) the presence, intensity, and functional limitations of pain. ANALYSIS: We applied logistic regression using generalized estimating equations, with NHW as the reference category. RESULTS: Among 18,593 participants (16,733 NHW, 824 HE, and 1,036 HS), HS had the highest prevalence (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI = 1.1-1.4) and intensity (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.4-1.9) of pain, but these differences were not significant after adjusting for age, sex, years of education, immigration status (U.S.- vs non-U.S-born), and health status (number of health conditions). Even after adjustment, HS reported the lowest levels of functional limitation (OR = 0.7; 95% CI 0.6-0.9). CONCLUSION: Pain prevalence and intensity were not related to acculturation after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, while functional limitation was significantly lower among HS even after adjusting for known risk factors. Future studies should explore the reasons for this difference.