Gender Differences in Demographic and Clinical Correlates among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders

Diana M. Higgins, Brenda T. Fenton, Mary A. Driscoll, Alicia A. Heapy, Robert D. Kerns, Matthew Bair, Constance Carroll, Penny L. Brennan, Diana J. Burgess, John D. Piette, Sally G. Haskell, Cynthia A. Brandt, Joseph L. Goulet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Studies suggest that women may be at greater risk for developing chronic pain and pain-related disability. Methods: Because musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the most frequently endorsed painful conditions among veterans, we sought to characterize gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical correlates among veterans upon entry into Veterans Health Administration's Musculoskeletal Disorders Cohort (n = 4,128,008). Results: Women were more likely to be younger, Black, unmarried, and veterans of recent conflicts. In analyses adjusted for gender differences in sociodemographics, women were more likely to have diagnoses of fibromyalgia, temporomandibular disorders, and neck pain. Almost one in five women (19.4%) had more than one MSD diagnosis, compared with 15.7% of men; this higher risk of MSD multimorbidity remained in adjusted analyses. Adjusting for sociodemographics, women with MSD were more likely to have migraine headache and depressive, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. Women had lower odds of cardiovascular diseases, substance use disorders, and several MSDs, including back pain conditions. Men were more likely to report "no pain" on the pain intensity Numeric Rating Scale, whereas more women (41%) than men (34%) reported moderate to severe pain (Numeric Rating Scale 4+). Conclusions: Because women veterans are more likely to have conditions such as fibromyalgia and mental health conditions, along with greater pain intensity in the setting of MSD, women-specific pain services may be needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWomen's Health Issues
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 24 2016

Fingerprint

Veterans
pain
gender-specific factors
Demography
Pain
Fibromyalgia
rating scale
Veterans Health
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Headache Disorders
Neck Pain
Back Pain
Depressive Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Migraine Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Chronic Pain
Substance-Related Disorders
Comorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery

Cite this

Higgins, D. M., Fenton, B. T., Driscoll, M. A., Heapy, A. A., Kerns, R. D., Bair, M., ... Goulet, J. L. (Accepted/In press). Gender Differences in Demographic and Clinical Correlates among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders. Women's Health Issues. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2017.01.008

Gender Differences in Demographic and Clinical Correlates among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders. / Higgins, Diana M.; Fenton, Brenda T.; Driscoll, Mary A.; Heapy, Alicia A.; Kerns, Robert D.; Bair, Matthew; Carroll, Constance; Brennan, Penny L.; Burgess, Diana J.; Piette, John D.; Haskell, Sally G.; Brandt, Cynthia A.; Goulet, Joseph L.

In: Women's Health Issues, 24.08.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Higgins, DM, Fenton, BT, Driscoll, MA, Heapy, AA, Kerns, RD, Bair, M, Carroll, C, Brennan, PL, Burgess, DJ, Piette, JD, Haskell, SG, Brandt, CA & Goulet, JL 2016, 'Gender Differences in Demographic and Clinical Correlates among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders', Women's Health Issues. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2017.01.008
Higgins, Diana M. ; Fenton, Brenda T. ; Driscoll, Mary A. ; Heapy, Alicia A. ; Kerns, Robert D. ; Bair, Matthew ; Carroll, Constance ; Brennan, Penny L. ; Burgess, Diana J. ; Piette, John D. ; Haskell, Sally G. ; Brandt, Cynthia A. ; Goulet, Joseph L. / Gender Differences in Demographic and Clinical Correlates among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders. In: Women's Health Issues. 2016.
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