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Table 1

Return to:   Aging Baby Boomers and the Rising Cost of Chronic Back Pain

National estimates of US adults with back pain, 2000 to 2007

MEPS 2-y longitudinal survey yearsTotal, mean, or % (SE)
2000–20012001–20022002–20032003–20042004–20052005–20062006–2007
MEPS panel no. a567891011
Total no. of sample b679713 82710 08110 34410 219996410 606
Projected national estimates
 All adults, millions195.3 (16.8)199.5 (10.3)201.7 (10.3)203.5 (10.9)204.8 (7.0)208.2 (7.5)209.7 (5.7)
  Percent of MEPS panel according to birth category
   Born before 1935 (elders)15.2% (0.7)14.0% (0.5)13.2% (0.5)12.1% (0.5)11.3% (0.5)10.3% (0.4)9.7% (0.4)
   Born 1935–1944 (preboomers)13.0% (0.6)13.1% (0.4)12.6% (0.5)12.4% (0.4)12.1% (0.5)11.9% (0.5)11.5% (0.4)
   Born 1945–1964 (boomers)39.8% (0.8)38.9% (0.6)38.3% (0.7)38.1% (0.7)38.0% (0.7)37.0% (0.7)36.5% (0.6)
   Born 1965–1975 (postboomers)21.2% (0.8)21.1% (0.5)21.4% (0.6)20.9% (0.6)20.4% (0.6)20.6% (0.6)20.2% (0.5)
   Born after 1975 (younger adults)10.8% (0.4)12.9% (0.4)14.5% (0.5)16.5% (0.5)18.2% (0.5)20.2% (0.6)22.2% (0.7)
  Adults with any reported back pain c
   Total adults, millions30.2 (2.9)33.8 (2.0)35.4 (2.1)35.8 (2.1)38.7 (1.7)38.5 (1.7)38.9 (1.3)
   Percent of all adults15.4% (0.6)17.0% (0.4)17.5% (0.5)17.6% (0.5)18.9% (0.6)18.5% (0.5)18.6% (0.5)
   Mean age (y)45.9 (0.6)46.6 (0.4)46.9 (0.5)47.5 (0.5)47.4 (0.5)48.1 (0.5)48.2 (0.5)
  Adults with chronic back pain d
   Total adults, millions7.8 (0.9)9.2 (0.7)10.5 (0.8)10.7 (0.7)12.8 (0.8)11.8 (0.7)12.8 (0.7)
   Percent of all adults4.0% (0.3)4.6% (0.2)5.2% (0.3)5.3% (0.3)6.3% (0.4)5.7% (0.3)6.1% (0.3)
   Mean age (y)48.5 (1.0)51.6 (0.7)52.1 (0.8)51.6 (0.7)50.5 (0.8)52.4 (0.8)52.2 (0.7)
aMedical Expenditure Panel Survey respondents are resurveyed for each of 5 separate rounds throughout the 2-year longitudinal panel survey. Each round recall period ranges from 4 to 6 months, and respondents report their experiences for the entire time frame of each round.
bAdults (age ≥18 years at entry into 2-year longitudinal survey) who were in scope with valid data during “all 5 rounds” of the 5-round data collection.
cMedical Expenditure Panel Survey respondents with any reported back pain during any round of longitudinal panel survey.
dMedical Expenditure Panel Survey respondents with reported back pain in 3 or more rounds of longitudinal survey.