The association of pain, race and slow gait speed in older adults.Geriatr Nurs. 2018 Sep - Oct; 39(5):580-583.GN
Gait speed is an important indicator of mobility and quality of life in older adults. Pain is related to gait speed; however, it is unknown if this relationship varies by race in a population based national sample. The aim of this study was to examine if the association between slow gait speed and pain differed between 7,025 older African Americans and non Hispanic Whites in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Those with pain in the last month had higher odds of slow gait speed (odds ratio = 1.38, 95% confidence interval = 1.10 - 1.73) than those without pain. The relationship between pain and slow gait speed did not vary by race (interaction p = 0.6). This is important because it points to the underlying racial disparities in pain and gait speed being factors such as disparate opportunities and living conditions, and healthcare rather than attributes intrinsic to race.