NEWS

In the media: chronic pain on the rise among young adults in England

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Chronic pain is thought to affect one in five people around the world, but a new study covered in The Guardian says it now affects one in three young adults in England.

The report found that the number of people experiencing chronic pain in England was steady between 2011 and 2017 at about 15.5 million. But, worryingly, there was significant growth in the numbers of young adults experiencing chronic pain, “with the rise blamed on obesity, sedentary lifestyles and stresses faced by that age group”.

But the proportion of people aged 16 to 34 affected by what experts call high-impact chronic pain – pain so acute that it leaves them struggling to work, interact socially and look after themselves independently – rose dramatically over that time from 21% to 34%.

“Since 2011 there appears to have been an alarming increase in high-impact chronic pain among young adults, which could change the life chances of a generation,” said Prof John Newton, Public Health England’s (PHE) director of health improvement, who helped produce the report.

Read the full story here.