An article published recently on JAMA Network, detailed a study of the rates of chronic pain incidence and persistence in adults in the United States.
The findings suggest that there is a high disease burden of chronic pain in the adult population of the US that results in loss of life, or loss of substantial restrictions in life activities, including work, social, and self-care activities and therefore, a need for early pain management.
Chronic pain was defined as pain that a person experiences every day or most days, while high-impact chronic pain was defined as chronic pain that limits life or work activities on most days or every days.
Disease burden refers to the effects of a health problem as measured in categories such as mortality, financial cost, morbidity, or other indicators. It is often quantified in terms of years of life lost and/or reduced quality of life due to illness.
The authors wrote, “In this cohort study, the incidence of chronic pain (52.4 cases per 1000 PY) was high compared with other chronic diseases and conditions for which the incidence in the US adult population is known, including diabetes, depression, and hypertension. This comparison emphasizes the high disease burden of chronic pain in the US adult population and the need for both prevention and early management of pain before it can become chronic, especially for groups at higher risk.”
The authors’ ongoing research will investigate underlying factors that may explain differences in chronic pain incidence, persistence, and recovery rates.
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