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QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentage* of Adults Aged ≥18 Years Who Were Never in Pain, in Pain Some Days, or in Pain Most Days or Every Day in the Past 6 Months, by Employment Status§ — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2016


The figure above is a bar chart showing in 2016, 37.7% of adults aged ≥18 years never had pain, 42.8% had pain on some days, and 19.6% had pain most days or every day in the past 6 months. A higher percentage of adults who were previously employed (30.4%) had pain most days or every day compared with never employed adults (19.4%) and currently employed adults (15.1%). Never employed adults (42.0%) and currently employed adults (39.9%) were more likely to report never having had pain than previously employed adults (30.7%).

* With 95% confidence intervals indicated by error bars. Percentages were age-adjusted to the projected 2000 U.S. population as the standard population, using five age groups: 18–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and ≥60 years.

Based on responses to the question “In the past 6 months, how often did you have pain? Would you say never, some days, most days, or every day?” For this figure, response categories “most days” and “every day” are combined.

§ Based on responses to the following questions: “What was [person]/were you doing last week?” and “Have you ever held a job or worked at a business?” Based on the first question, adults who were “working for pay at a job or business,” “with a job or business but not at work,” or “working, but not for pay, at a family-owned job or business” were classified as “currently employed.” Adults who were “looking for work” or “not working at a job or business and not looking for work” based on the first question and who subsequently answered “yes” to the second question were classified as “previously employed.” Adults who were “looking for work” or “not working at a job or business and not looking for work” based on the first question and who subsequently answered “no” to the second question were classified as “never employed.”

Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged ≥18 years and are derived from the National Health Interview Survey sample adult component.

In 2016, 37.7% of adults aged ≥18 years never had pain, 42.8% had pain on some days, and 19.6% had pain most days or every day in the past 6 months. A higher percentage of adults who were previously employed (30.4%) had pain most days or every day compared with never employed adults (19.4%) and currently employed adults (15.1%). Never employed adults (42.0%) and currently employed adults (39.9%) were more likely to report never having had pain than previously employed adults (30.7%).
Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.


Reported by: Carla E. Zelaya, PhD, CZelaya@cdc.gov, 301-458-4164; James M. Dahlhamer, PhD; Jacqueline W. Lucas, MPH.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentage of Adults Aged ≥18 Years Who Were Never in Pain, in Pain Some Days, or in Pain Most Days or Every Day in the Past 6 Months, by Employment Status — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:796. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6629a8.

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