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Prevalence of Chronic Disabling Noncancer Pain and Associated Demographic and Medical Variables: A Cross-Sectional Survey in the General German Population



Prevalence of Chronic Disabling Noncancer Pain and Associated Demographic and Medical Variables: A Cross-Sectional Survey in the General German Population



Clinical Journal of Pain 31(10): 886-892



In population surveys, up to 30% of participants reported chronic pain. Reports of chronic pain do not necessarily imply disability associated with pain. We assessed the prevalence of chronic disabling noncancer pain and associated demographic and medical variables in a sample of the general German population. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 4360 people aged 14 years and above, who were representative of the German population. Measures were obtained for demographic variables, presence of chronic pain (based on the definition of the International Association for the Study of Pain), chronic pain stages (based on a chronic pain grade questionnaire), and disease load (based on the self-reported comorbidity questionnaire). Responses were received from 2508 people. The prevalence of chronic pain was 28.3% (95% [confidence interval] CI, 26.5%-30.1%). In all, 7.3% (95% CI, 5.9%-8.7%) of participants met the criteria of chronic disabling noncancer pain. Chronic disabling noncancer pain was associated with age above 65 years (odds ratios [OR]=4.81 [95% CI, 1.57-14.79]), low family income (OR=2.54 [95% CI, 1.36-4.74]), obesity (OR=3.58 [95% CI, 2.21-5.79]), heart disease (OR=2.23 [95% CI, 3.69-11.40]), stomach disease (OR=4.24 [95% CI, 2.12-8.49]), and rheumatic disease (OR=3.67 [95% CI, 2.16-6.23]) when compared with no chronic pain. Chronic disabling noncancer pain was associated with low family income (OR=2.29 [95% CI, 1.23-4.27]), obesity (OR=2.14 [95% CI, 1.30-3.52]), and depression (OR=3.26 [95% CI, 1.90-5.66]) when compared with chronic nondisabling noncancer pain. Prevalence rates of chronic disabling pain in the general population rather than prevalence rates of chronic pain might provide evidence in support of pain specialist care. The association of chronic disabling noncancer pain with mental disorders highlights the need for psychosocial services in chronic pain management.

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Accession: 055153471

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PMID: 25411861

DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000173


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