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Epidemiology has long been a neglected aspect of clinical research related to neuropathic pain and until recently there was no reliable information regarding the general epidemiology of this type of pain, most notably its prevalence and incidence. Two large population-based postal surveys have been carried out to estimate the overall prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics (NC) in the general population. The large epidemiological survey of the burden of illness due to chronic neuropathic pain was undertaken in the French general population. Assessment of quality of life in patients with or without pain was based on the Medical Outcome Short Form 12 scale (MOS-SF-12). The surveys have shown that all domains of quality of life, sleep duration, and quality and symptoms of depression and anxiety are consistently more impaired in subjects reporting chronic pain with NC than in subjects reporting chronic pain without NC.
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