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Pain trends and pain growth disparities, 2009-2021

Macchia, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-9558-4747 (2022). Pain trends and pain growth disparities, 2009-2021. Economics and Human Biology, 47, 101200. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101200


Physical pain is a major public health concern. Yet evidence on trends in physical pain around the world barely exists. Using nationally representative data from 146 countries (N = 1.6 million respondents), this paper finds that, all over the world, the percentage of people in pain increased from 26.3 in 2009 to 32.1 in 2021. This rising trend was present in both higher- and lower-income countries. This article also documents pain disparities: In the worldwide population, pain grew faster among women, the less educated, and the poor. Although the aggregate level of pain was greater among the elderly (> 60 years old), the growth in pain was faster among the younger (< 35 years old). These findings hold after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Disparities of pain growth in higher- and lower-income nations and potential explanatory factors are also discussed. Understanding how the level of pain varies over time and across demographic groups is crucial to evaluate and shape public health policies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Physical pain, trends, growth, public health policy, disparities/inequalities
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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