The prevalence and impact of chronic neuropathic pain on daily and social life: A nationwide study in a Japanese population

S. Inoue, T. Taguchi, T. Yamashita, M. Nakamura, T. Ushida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study marks the first epidemiological evaluation of the prevalence and burden of chronic neuropathic pain (NeP) in an Asian population. The objective of this nationwide cross-sectional study was to identify the characteristics of individuals with NeP, detect the NeP features that affect their quality of life (QOL), and demonstrate the negative effects of NeP on social and daily living as well as comorbidities including depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. Methods: We mailed a cross-sectional, population-based epidemiological survey to a random nationwide sample of 10,000 Japanese adults over 20 years old. Results: The response rate was 54.4% (2445 men, 2992 women; mean age, 53.4 years). Prevalence of chronic pain was 16.6%, and prevalence of NeP was 3.2% as detected by the PainDETECT. Participants with NeP showed significantly lower quality of life according to scores on the EuroQol-5 Dimensions scale (p < 0.001), higher levels of psychological distress on the Kessler 6-item psychological distress scale (p < 0.001), poorer sleep quality (p < 0.001), and more workdays lost (p < 0.001) than did participants without NeP. Linear regression modelling showed that widespread pain, thermal hyperalgesia and pressure-induced pain had strong associations with lower QOL, with regression coefficients of −0.046 (p < 0.001), −0.038 (p < 0.001), and −0.040 (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: This study is the first to report the prevalence of NeP in an Asian population using a validated questionnaire. This study provides compelling evidence that chronic NeP is more strongly associated with poorer QOL, mental health and social well-being than CP without a neuropathic component. Significance: This population-based nationwide epidemiological study revealed the prevalence, characteristics, and negative effects of chronic pain with neuropathic components in Asian society. The prevalence of neuropathic pain was 3.2% with PainDETECT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-737
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain (United Kingdom)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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