Obesity and Depression Correlated with Chronic Hip Pain

Patients who report chronic hip pain are also more likely to be obese and have depression, according to recent research.

“Up to 64% of the general population reports experiencing chronic pain, with the hip being one of the most frequent sites,” said the study authors, whose work was published in Musculoskeletal Care. “An association has been shown between chronic back pain, obesity and depression. To date, a similar association has not been investigated with chronic hip pain.

The study included 2,515 patients from Germany. Patients completed a survey that included the Regional Pain Scale, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ‐C30), Beck Depression Inventory–Primary Care, and Winkler social class index; they also self-reported height and weight.

Among the respondents, 124 (4.9%) reported chronic hip pain; an additional 39 (1.5%) reported disabling chronic hip pain. In half of cases, the pain was widespread (6–19 sites), and in 47%, it impacted 1–5 sites (oliogolocular). Compared to pain-free patients, those with chronic hip pain had more than two times the odds of being obese (odds ratio [OR] 2.55) and over eight times the odds of greater depression (OR 8.53). Patients with chronic hip pain were more than 28 times as likely as pain-free individuals to report higher levels of depression (OR 28.22).

The findings suggest that debilitating hip pain is multi-faceted, according to the researchers.

“Our results support the recommendation of previous researchers, that additional diagnostic studies should be performed for patients who experience chronic hip pain, particularly when there is a discrepancy between subjective pain levels and objective functional limitations,” the study authors wrote, adding, “The intensity of pain experienced from the hip joint, and particularly the functional limitations that ensue, are influenced not only by the pathological changes in the joint, but also by psychological cofactors such as fear, depression and catastrophizing.”

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Sources: MedPage Today, Musculoskeletal Care