| acute pain management

Pain Increasing in Tomorrow’s Elderly

Less Education = Greater Intergenerational Pain

In a study discussing “the mystery of American pain,” two aspects of pain were examined: level of education and age. The findings are eye-opening. Less educated Americans are reporting higher levels of pain than the elderly, perhaps due to stress from both the economy and work, and limited access to healthcare. “…for those with less education…each successive birth cohort has a higher prevalence of pain at each age—a result not found for those with a bachelor’s degree. Thus, the gap in pain between the more and less educated has widened in each successive birth cohort. The increase…fits a more general pattern seen in the ongoing erosion of working-class life for those born after 1950.” Levels of pain were measured through the reports of individuals via the Gallup Health and Wellbeing Index, the Gallup World Poll, and others.

The study concludes, “If these patterns continue, pain prevalence will continue to increase for all adults; importantly, tomorrow’s elderly will be sicker than today’s elderly, with potentially serious implications for healthcare.” What is the cause of higher pain prevalence in Americans with a lower level of education? Among the culprits are higher levels of obesity, leading to increased pain and jobs with higher levels of risk of physical pain.


Read the journal article.