Prevalence of Chronic Pain in a Large Integrated Healthcare Delivery System in the USA

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Pain Pract


BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of published data on the prevalence of chronic pain conditions within large, integrated healthcare organizations in the U.S.A. Such data are essential to inform the development of appropriate treatment programs.

METHODS: Twenty-five selected pain conditions were used to identify patients receiving care within the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) who were enrolled in the Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a subsidiary of HFHS. Patients aged ≥ 18 years, enrolled in HAP in 2010, and having ≥ 2 encounters, ≥ 30 days apart, with an ICD-9-CM diagnosis code for a pain condition of interest during 2010 were counted. Variables included in the study were as follows: age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and Charlson comorbidity conditions and index score.

RESULTS: Altogether, 14,784 persons (11.6% of the total adult population) met the criteria for having a chronic pain condition. Overall, the study population was 64.4% female and had mean age (SD) of 61.2 (15.6) years and mean BMI of 31.4 (7.2) kg/m(2) . Musculoskeletal pain conditions were the most common diagnoses, comprising 75.4% of all pain diagnoses. Diabetes and chronic pulmonary disease were the most common medical comorbidities.

CONCLUSIONS: In this comprehensive analysis of 2 years of data from a large, vertically integrated metropolitan health system, chronic pain was identified in 12% of adult patients. Approximately 75% of chronic pain conditions were musculoskeletal. The triad of age ≥ 60 years, BMI ≥ 30, and female sex were the most salient demographic characteristics of patients with chronic pain conditions. These diagnostic and demographic data may be used to inform treatment program development.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Chronic Disease; Chronic Pain; Comorbidity; Female; Humans; International Classification of Diseases; Male; Middle Aged; Prevalence; United States; Young Adult

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page