Chronic pain pervasive in all age groups

November 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

More than half of all Americans have suffered chronic or recurrent pain in the past year.

More than half of all Americans (57%) have suffered chronic or recurrent pain in the past year, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Washington-based Research!America. The survey found that younger people (age 18 to 34) are only slightly less likely than older Americans to be in pain, and the impact of pain is experienced by three out of every four people; 76% of those surveyed said they are either suffering from pain themselves or have a close family member or friend who suffers.

Misunderstandings about pain

The random telephone survey, which was conducted among a sample of 1,004 adults, also found that:

•Â Of the 57% who suffered from chronic or recurrent pain in the past year, 62% have been in pain for more than a year and 40% report being in pain all the time.

•Â Four out of 10 chronic pain sufferers (39%) have had to make major adjustments in their lives, including taking disability leave from work; changing jobs; requiring help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and eating; or moving into housing that is easier to manage.

•Â Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed believe a cure for chronic pain is at least 10 years away.

• Fifty-seven percent are willing to pay one dollar more each week to increase federal funding for pain research.

• Forty-two percent say American culture views pain as more of a weakness than a misfortune.

James Campbell, chair of the Baltimore-based American Pain Foundation, said the results of the survey reveal a widespread misunderstanding of both the prevalence and the effects of pain in society. "These poll results show that pain is a pandemic health problem," said Campbell, who is also professor of neurosurgery and director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. "In a society where we can do heart transplants and treat AIDS, severe pain should no longer be acceptable. Perhaps most importantly, the poll demonstrates that pain research needs more emphasis and funding so that we can improve the quality of life for countless Americans." PR

Related Content: