Incidences of Chronic Pain

Over the past decades, the proportion of people aged 65 years and over has been steadily growing, and is projected to continue to increase across Europe. This increase is expected to be highest in countries of the European Union (EU) and lowest in non-EU countries.1

Pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms affecting the elderly population, and its prevalence increases with age.2

A large, detailed study of chronic pain in the UK involving over 3600 people revealed that the prevalence of chronic pain significantly increases with age. In this study, chronic pain was reported by 32% of people aged 25–34 years, 57% of those aged 55–74, and 62% of people aged 75 years and over.3

Persistent or bothersome chronic pain affects more than 50% of older persons living in a community setting and greater than 80% of nursing home residents.4-5



1 Scherbov S, Mamolo M. Probabilistic Population Projections for the EU-25 VID publications 2006. available at:
2 Pergolizzi J et al. Pain Pract. 2008;8:287-313.
3 Elliott AM et al. Lancet. 1999;354:1248-52.
4 Helme RD et al. The epidemiology of pain in elderly people. Clin Geriatr Med 2001; 17:417-431.
5 Ferrel BA. Pain evaluation and management in the nursing home. Ann Intern Med. 1995; 123:681-687.