This study carried out an exhaustive survey among community-dwelling independent elderly people to determine the prevalence of knee and/or low back pain. The subjects were 3,064 independent elderly people, aged 65-75, living in Onga town, Onga-gun,Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. None of the participants were receiving services from the National Long-Term Care Insurance. Questionnaires were sent to all the subjects. The response rate was 71.1% and the effective response rate was 70.1%. The respondents were stratified by age (65-69 or 70-75) and gender and the prevalence of pain was compared among groups using the chi-squared test. The prevalence of knee pain while walking,knee pain while walking on stairs, low back pain while walking, and unstable sensation of the lower trunk while walking was reported by 18.1%, 21.9%, 16.0% and 7.3%, respectively. 8.6% had both knee and low back pain while walking and 25.6% had both. On comparison among groups, the prevalence of knee or low back pain was similar between thetwoage groups but was significantly higher among females. Knee pain is slightly more common than low back pain with a prevalence of approximately 20%, and elderly females are more likely to have knee or low back pain.
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