The Association of Osteoarthritis and Related Pain Burden to Incident Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: A Retrospective Cohort Study of U.S. Medicare Beneficiaries

Kim E. Innes, Usha Sambamoorthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Emerging evidence suggests osteoarthritis (OA) and related symptom burden may increase risk for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). However, longitudinal studies are sparse, and none have examined the potential mediating effects of mood or sleep disorders. Objective: To determine the association of OA and related pain to incident ADRD in U.S. elders. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used baseline and two-year follow-up data from linked Medicare claims and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey files (11 pooled cohorts, 2001-2013). The study sample comprised 16,934 community-dwelling adults≥65 years, ADRD-free at baseline and enrolled in fee-for-service Medicare. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of OA and related pain (back, neck, joint, neuropathic) to incident ADRD, explore the mediating inlfuence of mood and insomnia-related sleep disorders, and (sensitivity analyses) account for potential survival bias. Results: Overall, 25.5% of beneficiaries had OA at baseline (21.0% with OA and pain); 1149 elders (5.7%) were subsequently diagnosed with ADRD. Compared to beneficiaries without OA, those with OA were significantly more likely to receive a diagnosis of incident ADRD after adjustment for sociodemographics, lifestyle characteristics, comorbidities, and medications (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06, 1.42). Elders with OA and pain at baseline were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with incident ADRD than were those without OA or pain (AOR = 1.31, CI 1.08, 1.58). Sensitivity analyses yielded similar findings. Inclusion of depression/anxiety, but not sleep disorders, substantially attenuated these associations. Conclusion: Findings of this study suggest that: OA is associated with elevated ADRD risk, this association is particularly pronounced in those with OA and pain, and mood disorders may partially mediate this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-805
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
  • arthritis
  • cognition
  • dementia
  • medicare current beneficiaries survey
  • mood
  • pain
  • sleep

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