Chronic pain affects more than 40 per cent of the UK population according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis of population studies researchers looked at 1737 articles published after 1990 that reported estimates of chronic pain, chronic widespread pain, fibromyalgia and chronic neuropathic pain. This was narrowed down to 19 studies that matched their inclusion criteria, presenting data from nearly 140,000 adults in the UK.
The studies revealed that between 35 to 51 per cent of the population suffered from chronic pain, with 10 to 14 per cent describing their pain as moderate to severely disabling. Age proved to be a factor as the prevalence increased with age, with just over 43 per cent of 18-25 year olds affected, compared to 62 per cent aged 75 or over. Chronic pain was also more common in women than men.
The above figures are expected to increase in line with the ageing population.