Depression and Obesity Associated With Chronic Hip Pain

overweight woman exercising
overweight woman exercising
Depression and obesity may be associated with chronic hip pain.

Depression and obesity may be associated with chronic hip pain, according to an observational cross-sectional study published in Musculoskeletal Care.

A total of 2515 individuals considered to be a cross-section of the German population were enrolled in this 2-month study, during which participants were asked to complete questionnaires assessing pain (Regional Pain Scale), quality of life (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory – Primary Care and Winkler social class index). Participants’ height and weight were obtained, and associations between hip pain, obesity, and depression were assessed using logistic regression.

A total of 124 study participants (5%) reported chronic hip pain, with 39 (1.5%) indicating disabling chronic hip pain. Increased depression scale scores were associated with a higher likelihood of patients reporting disabling chronic hip pain vs no pain (odds ratio [OR], 28.22; 95% CI, 12.98-61.33; P <.0001). Independent predictors for chronic hip pain included age (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.06-1.09), obesity (OR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.42-4.60), and elevated depression scores (OR, 8.53; 95% CI, 5.09-14.28), compared with values in participants without pain. In this cohort, hip pain was oligolocular (ie, involvement of 1-5 sites) in 47% of patients and was widespread (ie, involvement of 6-19 sites) in 50% of the population.

Study limitations include the observational nature of the study, the use of questionnaires, and the lack of clinical and physical examination of participants.

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”Hip pain was rarely unilocular in our study. Based on our findings of a strong association between depressive symptomatology and hip pain, we suggest that patients experiencing chronic hip pain would benefit from screening for depressive disorder. Further research on the impact of screening and the results of appropriate follow‐up treatment would be of great value,” concluded the investigators.

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Schwarze M, Häuser W, Schmutzer G, Brähler E, Beckmann NA, Schiltenwolf M. Obesity, depression and hip pain [published online January 8, 2019]. Musculoskeletal Care. doi: 10.1002/msc.1380