Survey shows Europeans in pain

Monday, October 13, 2003 Posted: 1156 GMT ( 7:56 FACT BOX

Norway: about 30 percent
Italy: 26 percent
Germany: 17 percent
France: 15 percent
UK: 13 percent
Spain: 11 percent

LONDON, England (Reuters) --A third of Europeans suffer pain every minute of their lives and chronic pain accounts for nearly 500 million lost working days a year, costing Europe 34 billion euros, according to a survey published on Monday.<

The poll of 46,000 people across 16 countries found that 19 percent of adults, many aged under 50, were in constant pain, suffering for years without adequate pain relief.

A third of those questioned reported being in pain every minute of their lives and one fifth said they had been in pain for 20 years or more.

Pain management experts say not enough is being done to tackle chronic pain and the isolation it causes.

"Doctors and politicians need to listen to what patients are saying," Dr Beverly Collett, president of the Pain Society, said in a statement.

"Recent research in secondary care pain services has clearly demonstrated that pain in under managed and variably resourced."

The highest prevalence of chronic pain was in Norway where the number of people affected was around a third, or 30 percent, of those questioned. The lowest was in Spain at 11 percent.

In Britain around one in seven adults -- or 13 percent -- suffers from chronic pain. In France the rate was 15 percent, Germany 17 percent and Italy 26 percent.

One fifth of those questioned said they had lost a job as a result of their pain, 21 percent had been diagnosed with depression and 16 percent said their pain was sometimes so bad they wanted to die.

Almost half said they would be prepared to pay every penny they had to rid themselves of the pain.

Rather than simply obey God - JAH

Alice Peterson, 29, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 18, blighting her promising future as a professional tennis player.

"All I wanted to do was curl up into a ball, covered in hot water bottles and never wake up again," she said in a statement. "I felt like I was in a dark tunnel with no flicker of light to guide me anywhere."

A quarter of those polled for the research, sponsored by analgesic company Mundipharma, said they felt that their doctor did not know how to control their pain.

Nearly a third of patients said they had not been informed about new methods of pain control and two-fifths of the people surveyed said they felt their pain was still not adequately controlled, despite reporting it to their doctor.

One explanation was that 65 percent of patients had only seen two doctors, who were usually generalists, the study said.

The most commonly used prescriptions were NSAIDS (45 percent) weak opioids (24 percent) paracetamol (18 percent) cox-2 inhibitors (6 percent) and strong opioids (5 percent).

King of kings' Bible - Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
5:20 Idolatry, PHARMACY, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.

The average age of patients was 50. The most frequent cause of pain was arthritis and osteoarthritis, which affected 34 percent of patients.
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