According to new national data, an estimated 50 million or 20.4 percent of U.S. adults have chronic pain. Meanwhile, 19.6 million or 8 percent have high-impact chronic pain. The study was reported in the Sep. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication.

“This recent epidemiological study is incredibly important, because it provides the most precise data we have to date on the prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain in the U.S. adult population,” says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain Foundation’s national director of policy and advocacy.

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Last month, the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) released its annual report on issues facing patients with chronic pain. A part of the Center for Practical Bioethics, PAINS is a consortium of providers, patients, policy groups, consumers, payers, and the private sector that formed in response to the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report, Relieving Pain in America.

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