Monday, January 22, 2018

Veterans Endure Higher Pain Severity than Nonveterans

American veterans experience higher prevalence of pain and more severe pain than nonveterans, with young and middle-aged veterans suffering the most, according to a new analysis of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), by the lead epidemiologist at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health. This survey provides the first national estimate of severe pain associated with painful health conditions in veterans and nonveterans and underscores the importance of sustaining efforts to monitor and manage pain among veterans.

“Our analysis showed that veterans were about 40 percent more likely to experience severe pain than nonveterans,” said Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., lead author of the analysis. “As well, younger veterans were substantially more likely to report suffering from severe pain than nonveterans, even after controlling for underlying demographic characteristics. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to helping veterans manage the impact of severe pain and related disability on daily activities.”

The analysis is based on data from the 2010-2014 NHIS, in which 67,696 adults (6,647 veterans and 61,049 nonveterans) responded to questions about the persistence and intensity of self-reported pain during the three months prior to the survey. The majority of veteran participants were men (92.5 percent), while the majority of nonveteran participants were women (56.5 percent). The survey data did not identify any specific aspects of military service, including branch of the armed forces, years of service, or whether the veteran served in a combat role.

Get the findings of the survey here.

View the graphs: Pain: U.S. Military and Veterans.

One response

  1. Max Rockatansky
    December 21, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Have there been any study’s which look into chronic pain in law enforcement? It’s the only profession with a urban combat element to it; clearly not the same as combat in the military but there are a great number of similarities in the professions. A number of former military do follow into this line of work as well. I’m certain chronic pain issues are quite common however, do to treatment and false perceptions by employers, law enforcement (mostly non-federal) would be highly discouraged to talk about it for fear of termination (& discrimination which employers attempt to justify by arguing there is a safety issue to the public…which is absolutely unfounded), thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Federal Medicine Stories

About The Academy

The American Academy of Pain Management improves the lives of people with Pain by advancing a person-centered, integrative model of pain care through evidence-guided education, credentialing, and advocacy.