Chronic pain-mental health comorbidity and excess prevalence of health risk behaviours: a cross-sectional study

LUMLEY, Sophie, YU, Dahai, WILKIE, Ross, JORDAN, Kelvin P. and PEAT, George (2024). Chronic pain-mental health comorbidity and excess prevalence of health risk behaviours: a cross-sectional study. Primary health care research & development, 25: e15.

Peat-ChronicPain-MentalHealth(VoR).pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (604kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


Background: Chronic musculoskeletal pain and anxiety/depression are significant public health problems. We hypothesised that adults with both conditions constitute a group at especially high risk of future cardiovascular health outcomes. Aim: To determine whether having comorbid chronic musculoskeletal pain and anxiety/depression is associated with the excess prevalence of selected known cardiovascular health risk behaviours. Method: A cross-sectional survey of adults aged 35+ years randomly sampled from 26 GP practice registers in West Midlands, England. Respondents were classified into four groups based on self-reported presence/absence of chronic musculoskeletal pain (pain present on most days for six months) and anxiety or depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score 11+). Standardised binomial models were used to estimate standardised prevalence ratios and prevalence differences between the four groups in self-reported obesity, tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, and unhealthy alcohol consumption after controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, employment status and educational attainment. The excess prevalence of each risk factor in the group with chronic musculoskeletal pain–anxiety/depression comorbidity was estimated. Findings: Totally, 14 519 respondents were included, of whom 1329 (9%) reported comorbid chronic musculoskeletal pain–anxiety/depression, 3612 (25%) chronic musculoskeletal pain only, 964 (7%) anxiety or depression only, and 8614 (59%) neither. Those with comorbid chronic musculoskeletal pain–anxiety/depression had the highest crude prevalence of obesity (41%), smoking (16%) and physical inactivity (83%) but the lowest for unhealthy alcohol consumption (18%). After controlling for covariates, the standardised prevalence ratios and differences for the comorbid group compared with those with neither chronic musculoskeletal pain nor anxiety/depression were as follows: current smoking [1.86 (95% CI 1.58, 2.18); 6.8%], obesity [1.93 (1.76, 2.10); 18.9%], physical inactivity [1.21 (1.17, 1.24); 14.3%] and unhealthy alcohol consumption [0.81 (0.71, 0.92); –5.0%]. The standardised prevalences of smoking and obesity in the comorbid group exceeded those expected from simple additive interaction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Obesity; Prevalence; Cross-Sectional Studies; Depression; Mental Health; Comorbidity; Adult; Musculoskeletal Pain; Chronic Pain; Health Risk Behaviors; anxiety; chronic pain; comorbidity; depression; health risk; Adult; Humans; Cross-Sectional Studies; Chronic Pain; Prevalence; Mental Health; Musculoskeletal Pain; Health Risk Behaviors; Comorbidity; Depression; Obesity; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; 4203 Health services and systems; 4206 Public health
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 May 2024 11:09
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 11:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics