According to this study, researchers examined Knee pain and functional impairments in elderly individuals are associated with the development of depressive symptoms. The study has published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is common in middle-aged and elderly people. It causes degeneration and destruction of articular cartilage and surrounding joint structures, which often limits activities of daily living (ADLs). The global prevalence of symptomatic knee OA is reported to be approximately 13% in women and 10% in men aged 60 and older.

Keiko Sugai, M.D., Ph.D., from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo,, and colleagues performed a community-based prospective cohort study to examine the association between knee pain and function and depressive symptoms in 573 Japanese adults aged 65 and older without depressive symptoms at baseline.

The researchers found that over two years of follow-up, 11.9% of participants developed depressive symptoms. Pain and functional impairment were associated with depressive symptom development. The factors most strongly associated with development of depressive symptoms included pain at night while in bed, difficulty getting into and out of a car (aOR, 3.4), and difficulty taking off socks (aOR, 3.1).

"Examining elderly people's responses to questions about pain at night and difficulties performing daily activities may be an efficient way of identifying those at high risk of developing depressive symptoms," the authors write. During the 2-year follow-up 11.9% of participants developed depressive symptoms, and pain and functional impairment were found to be associated with development of these symptoms.

Pain at night while in bed (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.6, 95% con?dence interval (CI) = 1.4–4.9) and dif?culty putting on socks (aOR = 3.7, 95% CI: 1.8–7.5), getting into and out of a car (aOR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.8–6.5), and taking off socks (aOR = 3.1, 95% CI = 1.5–6.5) were found to be most strongly associated with development of depressive symptoms.

Examining elderly people’s responses to questions about pain at night and dif?culties performing daily activities may be an ef?cient way of identifying those at high risk of developing depressive symptoms.