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Neuropathic Pain Prevalence of Older Adults in an Urban Area of Iran: A Population-Based Study.

Background: Pain prevalence would increase as the population grows older, but the exact prevalence rate is not apparent in Iran.

Objectives: This study, therefore, set out to reveal the prevalence of pain, especially neuropathic type and explore its associated comorbidities among Iranian older adults in a large urban population-based survey.

Methods: 5326 older people, aged ≥ 60 years, were randomly chosen by a multistage, cluster sampling method. The selected people then were interviewed by using the following instruments: a standard questionnaire about pain, questions of interview part of Douleur Neuropathique 4 Questions (DN4) and its comorbidities, GHQ-28, and a sociodemographic checklist. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis were conducted to analyze the gathered data.

Results: The average of the participants' age was 68.92 ± 7.02 years. Of 5326 participants, 2529 (47.5%) of participants were male. About one-third of this population had chronic pain. Chronic neuropathic pain prevalence was 13.7% and nociceptive in 30%. Knee pain (20.6%) and feet dysesthesia (7.8%) were the most common sites of nociceptive and neuropathic pain, respectively. Results of multiple regression analysis revealed that the major comorbidities of chronic pain were osteoporosis, disability, diabetes mellitus, and stroke. Neuropathic pain experiences were significantly associated with GHQ-28 scores (t=-11.42, P<0.001).

Conclusions: In addition to neuropathic pain, other subtypes of pain prevalence and the comorbidities are determined in the community-dwelling elder adults. This study highlights the importance of neuropathic pain and its adverse consequences and can be used to manage this populations' needs in Iran effectively.

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