Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic pain, opioid use by U.S. soldiers examined in new study

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
In a survey of US soldiers returned from deployment, 44 percent reported chronic pain and 15.1 percent reported recent use of opioid pain relievers. "While chronic pain and opioid use have been a long-standing concern of the military leadership, this study is among the first to quantify the impact of recent wars on the prevalence of pain and narcotic use among soldiers," researchers noted.

The prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use associated with deployment is not well known, although there are large numbers of wounded service members. The authors assessed the prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use following deployment in active-duty infantry soldiers who were not seeking treatment.

Surveys were collected in 2011 from an infantry brigade three months after service members returned from Afghanistan. The final sample included 2,597 soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. Chronic pain was defined as that lasting at least three months.

Most of the 2,597 survey participants were men, 18 to 24 years old, high school-educated, married and of junior enlisted rank. Nearly half (45.4 percent) reported combat injuries. Past-month opioid use was reported by 15.1 percent of soldiers and among them 5.6 percent of the soldiers reported no past-month pain, while 38.5 percent, 37.7 percent and 18.2 percent reported mild, moderate and severe pain, respectively. Chronic pain was reported by 44 percent of soldiers. Of these, 48.3 percent reported pain duration of a year or longer, 55.6 percent reported nearly daily or a constant frequency of pain, 51.2 percent reported moderate to severe pain and 23.2 percent reported opioid use in the past month.

"The prevalence of chronic pain (44 percent) and opioid use (15.1 percent) in this nontreatment-seeking infantry sample were higher than estimates in the civilian population of 26 percent and 4 percent respectively. … These findings suggest a large unmet need for assessment, management and treatment of chronic pain and related opioid use and misuse in military personnel after combat deployments,"researchers note.

In a related commentary, Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., LTC (Ret.) of the Samueli Institute, Alexandria, Va., and Eric B, Schoomaker, M.D., Ph.D., LTG (Ret.) of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., write: "In a study by Toblin et al of one of the Army's leading units published in this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, 44 percent of the soldiers had chronic pain, and 15.1 percent regularly used opioids."

"While chronic pain and opioid use have been a long-standing concern of the military leadership, this study is among the first to quantify the impact of recent wars on the prevalence of pain and narcotic use among soldiers," they continue.

"The nation's defense rests on the comprehensive fitness of its service members -- mind, body and spirit. Chronic pain and use of opioids carry the risk of functional impairment of America's fighting force," they note.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Wayne B. Jonas, Eric B. Schoomaker. Pain and Opioids in the Military. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.2114
  2. Robin L. Toblin, Phillip J. Quartana, Lyndon A. Riviere, Kristina Clarke Walper, Charles W. Hoge. Chronic Pain and Opioid Use in US Soldiers After Combat Deployment. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.2726

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "Chronic pain, opioid use by U.S. soldiers examined in new study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630164243.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2014, June 30). Chronic pain, opioid use by U.S. soldiers examined in new study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630164243.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "Chronic pain, opioid use by U.S. soldiers examined in new study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630164243.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins