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Prevalence of chronic pain with or without neuropathic characteristics in France using the capture–recapture method

a population-based study

Chenaf, Choukia,b,c,*; Delorme, Jessicaa,b,c; Delage, Noémiea,b,c; Ardid, Denisa,b,c; Eschalier, Alaina,b,c; Authier, Nicolasa,b,c

doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001347
Research Paper
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Capture–recapture methods are increasingly used to determine the prevalence of numerous chronic conditions but have never been used in the context of chronic pain (CP). This study sought to provide up-to-date estimates of the prevalence of people experiencing CP ± neuropathic characteristics in France using the capture–recapture method. In 2013 to 2015, 3 data sources were used: the French prescription drug database (D-list), the national hospital discharge database (H-list), and the French pain center database (P-list). Patients aged 18 years and older treated with analgesic drugs for ≥6 months (D-list) or with a diagnosis of CP ± neuropathic characteristics (H- and P-lists) were included. Two successive capture–recapture analyses were conducted, with log-linear regression for each analysis performed. A total of 63,557 and 9852 distinct cases of CP and chronic neuropathic pain were captured, respectively. The estimated prevalence of CP and chronic neuropathic pain in the adults ranged from 27.2% (95% confidence interval: 26.1-28.4) to 32.7% (26.0-43.3) and from 5.55% (2.89-19.0) to 7.30% (6.40-8.41), respectively. Most patients were female, median ages were 67 (55-80) and 63 (51-76) years for chronic and neuropathic pain, respectively. The analgesic drugs most frequently used in CP patients were paracetamol (62.1%), weak opioids (39.7%), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (32.7%), whereas in neuropathic pain patients, anticonvulsants (45.3%), tricyclic antidepressants (18.1%), and serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (13.3%) were more frequently used. This first electronic health record–based study on CP using the capture–recapture method revealed a high prevalence of CP, with a significant proportion of neuropathic pain patients.

The capture–recapture method provided an updated estimation of the prevalence of chronic pain (27.2%-32.7%) and chronic neuropathic pain (5.55%-7.30%) in France.

aUniversité Clermont Auvergne, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Inserm, Neuro-Dol, Service de Pharmacologie médicale, Centres Addictovigilance et Pharmacovigilance, Centre Evaluation et Traitement de la Douleur, Clermont-Ferrand, France

bObservatoire Français des Médicaments Antalgiques (OFMA)/French Monitoring Centre for Analgesic Drugs, Université Clermont Auvergne, Faculté de Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, France

cInstitut Analgesia, Faculté de Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Corresponding author. Address: Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Clermont-Ferrand, Service de Pharmacologie Médicale, BP69, 63003 Clermont-Ferrand, France. Tel.: +33 (0)4 73 751 822; fax: +33 (0)4 73 751 823. E-mail address: chouki.chenaf@uca.fr (C. Chenaf).

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.painjournalonline.com).

Received February 26, 2018

Received in revised form June 25, 2018

Accepted July 11, 2018

© 2018 International Association for the Study of Pain
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