Thursday, December 15, 2011 News/Research UPDATES: Is the Shocking Prevalence of Chronic Pain True?

Many readers have questioned the latest figure that 116 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, which represents more than a third of the total population. Yet, looking at the original source of this data, the evidence seems generally reliable and, furthermore, the U.S. is not unique in the world — chronic pain seems to be a truly huge problem of global proportions.

That 116 million estimation of chronic pain in the U.S. comes from a lengthy Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released last June, 2011: Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research [discussed in UPDATE here]. Apparently, many healthcare providers and opinion leaders find that number a bit far-fetched. Where did it come from and can it be trusted as being valid?

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