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Objective: To investigate the impact of pre-existing painful musculoskeletal conditions on healthcare utilisation and costs among patients with five common conditions: acute coronary syndrome (ACS), stroke, cancer, dementia and pneumonia.Methods: Using primary and secondary care services data from electronic health records, negative binomial regression model was used to compare resource use while two-part model was used to compare costs across the five conditions, between those with and without a pre-existing musculoskeletal pain.Results: The study included 760,792 patients (144,870 with ACS, 121,208 with stroke, 231,702 with cancer, 134,638 with dementia, and 128,374 with pneumonia) in the complete-case analysis. Pre-existing musculoskeletal pain had an incident rate ratio of above one for most healthcare resources over the follow-up period and an adjusted additional mean cumulative total healthcare costs per patient of £674.59 (95%CI 570.30 to 778.87) for ACS; £613.34 (95%CI 496.87 to 729.82) for stroke; £459.26 (95%CI 376.60 to 541.91) for cancer; and £766.23 (95%CI 655.06 to 877.39) for dementia over five years after diagnosis; and £200.85 (95%CI 104.16 to 297.55) for pneumonia over one year after diagnosis compared to those without musculoskeletal pain.Conclusion: This study highlights that individuals with painful musculoskeletal conditions have a higher healthcare utilisation and costs than those without a painful musculoskeletal condition. Given the high occurrence of musculoskeletal pain in patients with other conditions, effective management strategies are needed to reduce the burden on healthcare resources.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Med Res Opin

Publication Date



1 - 12


comorbidity, cost, musculoskeletal, pain