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Americans in households making less than $30,000 a year spend nearly 20% of their lives in moderate to severe pain vs. less than 8% of those in households earning above $100,000, finds a study by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Stony Brook Univ. professor Arthur Stone. The type of pain people reported typically fell on either side of the rich-poor divide. Those with higher incomes welcome pain almost by choice, usually through exercise. At lower incomes, pain comes as the result of work. People with chronic pain also work less, costing U.S. businesses up to $60 billion annually. Although interacting with a spouse or friend lowered pain, those suffering chronic pain tended to socialize much less. They also spent more time watching TV (25% of their day vs. 16% for the average person).

(Time 5/2/08)

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