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Pain Med. 2013 Mar;14(3):403-16. doi: 10.1111/pme.12024. Epub 2012 Dec 28.

The prevalence of smokers within chronic pain patients and highest pain levels versus comparison groups.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


OBJECTIVES.: The objectives of this study were to (1) compare the prevalence of smoking within chronic pain patients (CPPs) to community non-patients without pain (CNPWP), community patients with pain (CPWP), and acute pain patients (APPs); and (2) compare smokers to nonsmokers within CPPs, APPs, and CPWP for highest pain level. DESIGN.: CNPWP, CPWP, APPs, and CPPs were compared to each other for smoking status (nonsmoker, less than one pack per day, one pack/day or more, any amount per day). Within CPWP, APPs, and CPPs, smokers were also compared to nonsmokers by t-test for highest reported pain level. For both analyses, sub-analyses were performed controlling for age or gender, or race or education. RESULTS.: Utilizing all available patients, the prevalence of smokers within CPPs was significantly greater vs each of the comparison groups (CNPWP, CPWP, APPs). In the sub-analyses, only CPPs who were 38 or younger or male or White, or had some college or above were at greater risk than CPWP for smoking one pack or greater per day. CPP smokers were not significantly more likely than nonsmokers to have higher pain, and this was confirmed in the sub-analyses. CONCLUSIONS.: The prevalence of smokers could be significantly greater within CPPs vs CPWP. CPPs who smoke do not have higher levels of pain than nonsmoking CPPs.

Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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