Prescription opioid use among adults with chronic pain: United States, 2019
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Prescription opioid use among adults with chronic pain: United States, 2019

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    Objective—This report presents prevalence estimates of prescription opioid use among U.S. adults with chronic pain. Methods—Data from the redesigned 2019 National Health Interview Survey were used to estimate the prevalence of prescription opioid use in the past 3 months among adults aged 18 and over with chronic pain (pain on most days or every day in the past 3 months). Prevalence estimates are presented by age group, sex, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, veteran status, employment status, poverty status, health insurance coverage, and urbanization level of residence. Results—In 2019, 22.1% of U.S. adults with chronic pain used a prescription opioid in the past 3 months. Prescription opioid use among adults with chronic pain varied by age group, sex, educational attainment, employment status, poverty status, and health insurance coverage. Prescription opioid use increased with age before declining among adults aged 65 and over, with the highest prevalence observed among adults aged 45–64 (25.9%). Women (24.3%), adults who were not employed (27.8%), and adults with a family income below 100% of the federal poverty level (27.0%) were more likely to have used a prescription opioid for chronic pain than men (19.4%), employed adults (15.2%), and adults with a family income of 200% or more of the federal poverty level (19.4%), respectively. Prescription opioid use declined with increasing educational attainment: Adults with less than a high school diploma or GED (26.2%) had the highest prevalence of prescription opioid use for chronic pain, while adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher (18.4%) had the lowest prevalence of prescription opioid use. Uninsured adults had a lower prevalence of prescription opioid use (12.1%) than adults with private coverage (19.9%), Medicare (28.2%), or Medicaid or other forms of public coverage (28.4%). Suggested citation: Dahlhamer JM, Connor EM, Bose J, Lucas JW, Zelaya CE. Prescription opioid use among adults with chronic pain: United States, 2019. National Health Statistics Reports; no 162. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/ 10.15620/cdc:107641. CS325204 nhsr162-508.pdf
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