Chronic Pain Poses High Disease Burden in US Adult Population

Incidence rates of chronic pain, high-impact chronic pain 52.4 and 12.0 cases per 1000 person-years in 2020.

HealthDay News The incidence of chronic pain is high among U.S. adults compared with other chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, depression, and hypertension, according to a study published online May 16 in JAMA Network Open.

Richard L. Nahin, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues estimated the rates of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain (HICP) incidence and persistence in U.S. adults across demographic groups in a cohort study using data from the 2019 to 2020 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Longitudinal Cohort. The final analytical sample included 10,415 adult participants in both the 2019 and 2020 NHIS (51.7 percent female; 54.0 percent aged 18 to 49 years; 72.6 percent White).

The researchers found that the incidence rates of chronic pain and HICP in 2020 were 52.4 and 12.0 cases per 1,000 person-years (PY), respectively, among adults who were pain-free in 2019. In 2020, the rates of persistent chronic pain and persistent HICP were 462.0 and 361.2 cases per 1,000 PY, respectively, among adults with baseline chronic pain.

“The incidence of chronic pain (52.4 cases per 1,000 PY) was high compared with other chronic diseases and conditions for which the incidence in the U.S. adult population is known, including diabetes, depression, and hypertension,” the authors write. “This comparison emphasizes the high disease burden of chronic pain in the U.S. adult population and the need for both prevention and early management of pain before it can become chronic.”

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