By the numbers…Waging a War on Understanding Pain

Some numbers for you to ponder over the weekend…
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In 2008:
100,000,000 Americans were living with chronic pain
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In 2010, it cost the US  $_______  to treat:
1. Heart Disease:    $309,000,000,000
2. Cancer: $243,000,000,000
3. Diabetes: $188,000,000,000
4. Pain: Between $500,000,000,000 and $635,000,000,000
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In 1996, it was estimated that we only spent $150,000,000,000 treating non-cancer related pain.  That is 1/4 the price we would spend 15 years later.    
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To put things into perspective, we spent $102,000,000,000 fighting the Gulf War in 1991, $297,000,000,000 in the Afghanistan war in 2010 and $715,000,000,000 in the Iraq war in 2010.  
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This is why understanding pain is important.   We haven’t got it right yet; but that doesn’t mean we can’t get it right now.   We need to wage a war on understanding pain.  
Gaskin DJ, Richard P. The Economic Costs of Pain in the United StatesThe Journal of Pain, 2012; 13 (8).
Daggett S. Costs of Major US War.  Congressional Research Service. 2010. RS22926. www.crs.gov

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