Back to Journals » Journal of Pain Research » Volume 10

The prevalence of probable neuropathic pain in the US: results from a multimodal general-population health survey

Authors DiBonaventura MD, Sadosky A, Concialdi K, Hopps M, Kudel I, Parsons B, Cappelleri JC, Hlavacek P, Alexander AH, Stacey BR, Markman JD, Farrar JT

Received 8 November 2016

Accepted for publication 19 April 2017

Published 1 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2525—2538


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Marco D DiBonaventura,1 Alesia Sadosky,2 Kristen Concialdi,1 Markay Hopps,2 Ian Kudel,1 Bruce Parsons,2 Joseph C Cappelleri,3 Patrick Hlavacek,2 Andrea H Alexander,2 Brett R Stacey,4 John D Markman,5 John T Farrar6

1Health Outcomes Practice, Kantar Health, 2Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, 3Pfizer Inc, Groton, CT, 4University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 5University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, 6University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, US

Background: The prevalence of neuropathic pain (NeP) has been estimated within specific health conditions; however, there are no published data on its broad prevalence in the US. The current exploratory study addresses this gap using the validated PainDetect questionnaire as a screener for probable NeP in a general-population health survey conducted with a multimodal recruitment strategy to maximize demographic representativeness.
Materials and methods: Adult respondents were recruited from a combination of Internet panels, telephone lists, address lists, mall-based interviews, and store-receipt invitations using a random stratified-sampling framework, with strata defined by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Older persons and minorities were oversampled to improve prevalence estimates. Results were weighted to match the total adult US population using US Census data. Demographic information was collected, and respondents who experienced physical pain in the past 12 months completed the PainDetect and provided additional pain history. A cutoff score of 19 or greater on the PainDetect was used to define probable NeP.
Results: A total of 24,925 respondents (average response rate 2.5%) provided demographic data (52.2% female, mean age 51.5 years); 15,751 respondents reported pain (63.7%), of which 2,548 (15.7%, 95% confidence interval 14.9%–16.5%) had probable NeP based on the PainDetect, which was 10% (95% confidence interval 9.5%–10.5%) of all respondents. Among those reporting pain, the prevalence of probable NeP among Blacks and Hispanics was consistently higher than Whites in each age- and sex group. The highest prevalence among those with pain was among male Hispanics 35–44 years (32.4%) and 45–54 years (24.2%) old. The most commonly used medications reported by those with probable NeP were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (44.2%), followed by weak opioids (31.7%), antiepileptics (10.9%), and strong opioids (10.9%).
Conclusion: This is the first study to provide an estimate of the prevalence of probable NeP in the US, showing significant variation by age and ethnicity.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, prevalence, pain types, epidemiology

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]