Chronic pain: 1 in 5 patients has comorbid depression

  • Orhurhu V & al.
  • Pain Physician
  • 01.09.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • More than one-fifth of US patients with chronic pain also have comorbid depression, a slight increase from 2011 to 2015.
  • The largest proportion of patients with chronic pain with depression were whites, women, and those aged 45-65 years.
  • The highest increases in depression were seen in patients with chronic pain who were black, aged 65-84 years, covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or from the lowest socioeconomic areas.

Why this matters

  • The findings point to the need for more integration of mental health care services with chronic pain management.

Study design

  • This study identified approximately 10.3 million patients with chronic pain (2.2 million with comorbid depression) from the National Inpatient Sample (2011-2015).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • The proportion of patients with depression rose (P<.001 from to>
  • The proportion of women with depression was stable (68.2% vs 67.1%).
  • The highest proportion of patients with depression were white (83.1%) and those in the age group of 45-64 years (47.4%).
  • The highest increases were noted among:
    • blacks (8.12% to 9.56%),
    • patients aged 65-84 years (29.0% to 32.4%),
    • Medicare-insured patients (56.1% to 58.5%), and
    • Medicaid-insured patients (14.7% to 17.1%), and in
    • areas with lowest annual household income (29.2% to 32.0%).

Limitations

  • Observational study.
  • Specific cost analysis was limited.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm