in the Prevalence of Pain and Analgesia Use in the Australian Population
Miller AM1, Sanderson K1, Bruno R2, Breslin M1,
Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Introduction: Internationally, numerous studies have identified differences in
chronic pain prevalence and analgesic medication use between male and females.
Whether significant differences exist in the Australian population is currently
Aims and Methods: This study aimed to: (1) estimate
current prevalence and distribution of chronic pain in the Australian
population; (2) assess the distribution of self-reported pain severity; (3) estimate
the usage of opioid and non-opioid analgesia; and (4) compare differences
between male and female self-reported pain and use of analgesia. This study
used cross-sectional, nationally representative data collected by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics 2011- 2012 Australian National Health Survey. The sample
was collected via a stratified multistage sampling method. There were a total
of n=20,426 participants with an overall response rate of 84.8%. Estimation of
final weighted proportions were obtained using STATA v12.
Results: In Australia, 15.4% (2.75 million) of the population aged ≥15
years reported having chronic or reoccurring pain. Males were significantly
more likely overall to report no pain (p <0.001), and females were
significantly more likely to report moderate to very severe pain (p <0.001).
An estimated 12.0% of males and 13.4% of females with chronic or reoccurring
pain aged ≥15 years had taken opioid analgesic medications in the previous two
weeks. The highest proportions of use were seen in the youngest and oldest
female age groups with chronic pain, at 17% and 29% respectively.
between the sexes are apparent in relation to both pain and analgesia use in
Australia. As expected, there
was a positive trend in chronic pain prevalence with age for Australians of
both sexes. In those with chronic pain, there was a trend for greater opioid
analgesic medication use for females in each age group, and a
higher proportion of females reported moderate to very severe pain.