20% of US Adults Report Chronic Pain

According to a newly released National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report using data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 20.4% of adults had chronic pain and 7.4% of adults had chronic pain that frequently limited life or work activities (high impact chronic pain) in the past 3 months. This is significant in that chronic pain is among the most common reasons adults seek medical care and are associated with decreased quality of life, opioid dependence, and poor mental health. Some additional findings from the survey are as follows:

  • Chronic pain and high impact chronic pain increased with age and was highest among adults 65 and over.
  • Women were more likely to have chronic pain and high impact chronic pain compared to men.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to have chronic pain compared to non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian adults.
  • As the place of residence became more rural, the percentage of adults with chronic pain and high impact chronic pain increased.

Additional information on this report is available from the HCHS at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db390.htm#fig1