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Papers: 22 Jun 2024 - 28 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 25

J Pain


Prevalence and Sociodemographic Correlates of Chronic Pain Among A Nationally Representative Sample of Older Adults in the United States.


LaRowe LR, Miaskowski C, Miller A, Mayfield A, Keefe FJ, Smith AK, Cooper BA, Wei LJ, Ritchie CS


Subgroup analyses conducted among U.S. national survey data have estimated that 27-34% of adults aged ≥65 years have chronic pain. However, none of these studies focused specifically on older adults or examined disparities in chronic pain in those aged ≥65 years. To obtain current information on the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of chronic pain in U.S. older adults, a cross-sectional analysis was conducted of data collected from 3,505 older adults recruited from the AmeriSpeak® Panel. Chronic pain was defined as pain on most or every day in the last three months. Nationally representative chronic pain prevalence estimates were computed by incorporating study-specific survey design weights. Logistic regression analyses evaluated differences in chronic pain status as a function of sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status). Results indicated that 37.8% of older adults reported chronic pain. Compared to White older adults, Black (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.8) and Asian (OR = 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1-0.8) older adults were less likely to report chronic pain. The prevalence of chronic pain was also lower among those who reported the highest (vs. lowest) household income (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.8). Those who were not working due to disability (vs. working as a paid employee) were more likely to report chronic pain (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 2.1-5.0). This study was the first to recruit a large, representative sample of older adults to estimate the prevalence of chronic pain and extends prior work by identifying sub-groups of older adults that are disproportionately affected. PERSPECTIVE: This study was the first to estimate the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of chronic pain among a large, representative sample of U.S. older adults. Findings underscore the high prevalence of chronic pain and highlight disparities in chronic pain prevalence rates among this historically understudied population.