Over 25% Are Hurting
Obese Americans are significantly more likely than average to suffer chronic pain, defined as frequent or constant pain that persists for three or more months, but that’s not so for the merely overweight. A new University of Washington analysis of health data on nearly 90,000 individuals found that while 19 percent of the population overall report chronic pain, this breaks down to 25.3 percent of the obese, 18.2 percent of the overweight and 14.6 percent of those of healthy weight. The percentage for the obese was only slightly less than the 30 percent figure for migraine or cancer victims. More women (21.6 percent) than men (16.2 percent) reported suffering chronic pain, and the highest figure associated with a specific medical ailment was 60 percent, for persons with emphysema.