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Prevalence of chronic or severe pain in American adults

Date:
August 19, 2015
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain, according to a new study. The findings also showed that half of individuals with the most severe pain still rated their overall health as good or better, and there were associations between pain severity and race, ethnicity, language preference, gender, and age. Women, older individuals, and non-Hispanics were more likely to report any pain, but Asians less likely.
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Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain, according to a new study prepared by National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which appears this month in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.

Based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the study estimates that within a previous three-month period, 25 million U.S. adults had daily chronic pain, and 23 million more reported severe pain. Those with serious pain need and use more health care services and suffer greater disability then persons with less severe pain.

The annual NHIS study is conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and surveys tens of thousands of Americans about their overall health and illnesses. The 2012 NHIS studied asked participants about the frequency and intensity of pain experienced in the last 3 months.

The findings also showed that half of individuals with the most severe pain still rated their overall health as good or better, and there were associations between pain severity and race, ethnicity, language preference, gender, and age. Women, older individuals, and non-Hispanics were more likely to report any pain, but Asians less likely. Also, the study showed the impact of gender on pain is influenced by race and ethnicity.

In an NIH news release, Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead epidemiologist for NCCIH and author of the analysis said: "This report begins to answer calls for better national data on the nature and extent of the pain problem. The experience of pain is subjective. It's not surprising then that the data show varied responses to pain even in those with similar levels of pain. Continuing analyses of these data may help identify subpopulations that would benefit from additional pain treatment options."


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Materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard L. Nahin. Estimates of Pain Prevalence and Severity in Adults: United States, 2012. The Journal of Pain, 2015; 16 (8): 769 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.05.002

Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "Prevalence of chronic or severe pain in American adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819111112.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2015, August 19). Prevalence of chronic or severe pain in American adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819111112.htm
American Pain Society. "Prevalence of chronic or severe pain in American adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819111112.htm (accessed May 27, 2017).

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