OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between smoking and chronic pain among people aged 65+ years. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SAMPLE: The study was carried out in 2011 and included a randomly selected (N = 2000, response rate 57%) sample of people aged 65 years and older, living in Sweden. MEASUREMENT: A postal questionnaire with questions about demographic data, living conditions, tobacco use (both smoking and moist snuff), subjective health, and chronic pain (eg, intensity, duration, location). Chronic pain was defined as a pain lasting for 3 months or longer. RESULTS: In the total sample (n = 1141, aged 65 to 103 years), 53.6% were women, 38.5% reported chronic pain, and 9% were smokers. Among the smokers were 47.6% reporting chronic pain. When comparing smokers and nonsmokers, there was a significant difference only in pain intensity but not in prevalence. However, when the sample was divided by gender, significant differences were found in both prevalence and intensity among women, but only in intensity among men. No association was found between moist snuff and pain. CONCLUSIONS: There was an association between smoking and chronic pain among older people, especially regarding pain intensity. This indicates that interventions to help people cease smoking may be one way (among other methods) to ease pain intensity among older people.
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