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In 2021, 20.9% of adults in the U.S. experienced chronic pain and 6.9% experienced high-impact chronic pain that results in “substantial restriction to daily activities,” according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC described chronic pain as a debilitating condition that affects daily work and life activities for many adults in the United States and has been linked with depression, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, higher suicide risk, and substance use and misuse. For its study, the CDC sent surveys to 29,482 adults, with 50.9% responding.
The CDC said the findings highlighted “important disparities in the prevalence of chronic pain among certain population groups.” Consistent with previous studies, the prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain were higher among older adults, females, adults currently unemployed but who worked previously, veterans, adults living in poverty, those residing in nonmetropolitan areas, and those with public health insurance. The report also found a higher prevalence among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults, adults identifying as bisexual, and adults who were divorced or separated.