The link between pain and depressive symptoms in older American veterans

Takeaway

  • Pain and depressive symptoms may influence each other; however, treatment should be provided for both conditions rather than only treating one of the two conditions.

Why this matters

  • Pain and depression are highly prevalent in American veterans, particularly those aged 50 years or above, with 66.7−69.8% experiencing chronic pain and 7.1−11.6% experiencing severe pain.

  • Although some research has studied the causal link between pain and depression, findings have been inconsistent.

  • There is a lack of research that examines the relationship between pain and depression in older American veterans, who are at increased risk of chronic pain and psychiatric morbidity.

  • Therefore, a longitudinal study to clarify the association between pain and depressive symptoms in American veterans over 50 years is warranted.