One in ten Americans endure pain which lasts for a year or more

According to the latest government statistics 1 in 10 of American adults endure pain which lasts for a year or more.

The annual report on the nation's health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says Americans are living longer, with life span at a record average of just under 80 years.

The CDC says the life expectancy for females is now just over 80 years and almost 75 years for males.

The other good news is that the gap in life expectancy between white and black Americans has also narrowed from seven years in 1990 to five years in 2004, says the CDC.

But along with the good comes the bad and it seems that a quarter of American adults say they have suffered a day-long bout of pain in the past month, and lower back pain is among the most common complaints, along with migraine or severe headache, and joint pain, aching or stiffness.

The knee is the joint that causes the most pain according to the report and hospitalization rates for knee replacement procedures rose nearly 90 percent between 1992-93 and 2003-04 among those 65 and older.

Lead researcher Amy Bernstein, says they opted to focus on pain in this report because it is rarely discussed as a condition and is mostly viewed as a byproduct of another condition.

The report also found that U.S. health care spending averaged $6,280 per person in 2004, but 7 percent of adults under 65 said they passed up getting needed care in the past 12 months due to costs.

Infant mortality fell to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004, down slightly from 6.9 deaths in 2003.

For adults, heart disease remains the leading killer, but the report found deaths from heart disease fell 16 percent between 2000 and 2004.

Deaths from cancer -- the No. 2 killer -- dropped by 8 percent.

But diabetes is worsening and 11 percent of adults aged 40-59 years now have diabetes and 23 percent of those are 60 or older.

The report is available on here http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm.

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