Musculoskeletal pain common in T2D but does not influence treatment goals

10 May 2022
Musculoskeletal pain common in T2D but does not influence treatment goals

Musculoskeletal pain is a common coexisting symptom in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), with most patients having knee or lower back pain, a study reports. However, despite the major disability burden associated with these types of pain, it does not seem to get in the way of achieving treatment targets.

The study included 3,478 patients (mean age 70.0 years, 55 percent male) with a registry-based T2D diagnosis and available registry-based data on musculoskeletal pain diagnoses. Researchers used logistic regression analysis to examine the association of diagnosed musculoskeletal pain (low back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain; and the number of pain sites) with the achievement of targets for glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) among the patients.

Of the T2D patients, 22 percent were diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain. These patients were slightly older and had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) compared with those without musculoskeletal pain. Knee and low back pain were most frequently diagnosed.

Overall, 73 percent, 57 percent, and 51 percent of the population achieved the treatment targets of HbA1c, LDL, and SBP, respectively. Achievement of T2D treatment goals was similar in the groups of those with and without musculoskeletal pain.

Of pain locations, low back pain showed an initial association with higher rates of achievement of the LDL target (odds ratio, 1.29, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.01–1.65), although this association was attenuated in the adjusted model.

The findings suggest that focus should be targeted towards factors other than musculoskeletal pain to maintain sufficient treatment levels among older T2D populations.

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