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One in Four U.S. Adults Recently Affected by Pain

Low back pain one of the most common complaints

THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Recent and chronic pain afflict a large proportion of the U.S. adult population, according to Health, United States, 2006, a report published Nov. 15 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). One in four U.S. adults have suffered a bout of pain in the last month, and one in 10 report that the pain has lasted for at least a year.

Overall, three-fifths of adults aged 65 and older report pain lasting over one year, and more than one-quarter of adults experienced low back pain in the previous three months. Migraine and severe headaches affected 15 percent of adults within the past three months, and use of narcotic pain relief increased from 3.2 percent of adults in 1988-1994 to 4.2 percent in 1999 to 2002.

While pain is usually considered to be a result of another condition rather than a condition itself, the authors felt it justified analysis in its own right.

"We chose this topic because the associated costs of pain are posing a great burden on the health care system and because there are great disparities among different population groups in terms of who suffers from pain," said lead author Amy Bernstein, Sc.D., of the NCHS, in a statement.

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