Research finds link between chronic pain and dementia or stroke risk. New research revealed that people with widespread pain are an increased incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 2,464 participants of the Framingham Offspring Study Cohort, who were involved in the examination by health practitioners between 1990 and 1994.
The study participants answered a questionnaire to determine whether or not they experienced pain. Of the participants, 347 reported experiencing widespread pain.
The researchers found that these participants had was at 43% higher risk for all-cause dementia, a 47% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and a 29% higher risk of stroke.
The study findings appear online in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.
Earlier studies have found a link between widespread pain and an increased risk of a cardiovascular cause of death as well as an increased incidence of cancer and reduced cancer survival.
Chronic widespread pain is characterized by long-lasting pain in multiple body regions. The condition is associated with other physical symptoms such as fatigue, concentration problems, and psychologic distress.
“What causes pain is very different across the body. It could be cancer-induced pain, inflammatory pain — like arthritis, bone pain — like osteoarthritis, and neuropathic pain, which is sort of abnormal pain signaling and damaged nerves. There are so many different reasons for people to be in pain.” Dr. Rebecca Edelmayer, senior director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association said.