Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to study 19-year body mass index (BMI) patterns and their (1) bidirectional relationship with musculoskeletal pain and (2) mortality risk. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We used data from the Chingford study and group-based trajectory modelling to define 19-year BMI patterns. We investigated whether baseline back, hand, hip, and knee pain (as single- and multi-site) predicted 19-year BMI trajectory, and whether 19-year BMI patterns predicted pain in year 20. We explored BMI trajectories and mortality risk over 25 years (life expectancy). RESULTS: We included 938 women (mean age: year-1=54, year-20=72) and found seven distinct 19-year BMI trajectories: two normal-weighted (reference), slightly overweight, lower and upper overweight-to-obese, lower and upper obese. BMI patterns capturing the increase overweight-to-obese (BMI 27-34 overtime) were bidirectionally related to knee and multi-site pain. The lower obese pattern (BMI 33-38) was unidirectionally associated with lower limb pain. Women with BMI above 40 had an increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. CONCLUSION: For most postmenopausal women, the overweight WHO category was a transition. Two patterns capturing increase overweight-to-obese were mutually related to musculoskeletal pain, i.e., knee and multi-site pain contributed to becoming obese, and trajectories of becoming obese increased the odds of experiencing pain later.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin epidemiol

Publication Date





54 - 63


Back pain, Body mass index, Group-based trajectory modelling, Knee pain, Mortality, Musculoskeletal pain, Body Mass Index, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Musculoskeletal Pain, Obesity, Overweight, Risk Factors