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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 23/30, 2018

Chronic Pain Prevalence

JAMA. 2018;320(16):1632. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.16009

An estimated 1 in 5 US adults had chronic pain in 2016, and 8% had high–impact chronic pain defined as limiting life or work activities on most days or every day during the past 6 months, according to a CDC report.

Chronic pain is a growing public health concern in the United States, costing an estimated $560 billion each year for medical care, lost productivity, or disability services, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. In addition to interfering with day-to-day activities, chronic pain is associated with dependence on opioids, anxiety and depression, and a poor quality of life, according to the CDC report. Previous estimates of chronic pain among US adults varied between 11% and 40%. With the goal of fulfilling a recommendation of the National Institutes of Health’s National Pain Strategy, the CDC analyzed data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey to get a more precise estimate of chronic pain prevalence.