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Take pain medication regularly

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PMED indicates whether sample adults took pain medication "regularly, that is, at least 3 times a week."

Questions about regular use of pain medications were part of the Diet and Nutrition section of the 2005 Cancer Control Module. Interviewers read the following text to respondents:

People may take medication to treat pain, headache, or arthritis; to relax muscles; or to prevent heart attacks and other diseases. Typical medications are shown on this card [which listed 12 common pain medications]. Note that this list does NOT include Tylenol. Do you now take any of these medications regularly, that is, at least 3 times a week?
Related Variables 

Respondents with an affirmative response in PMED were asked, "Have you taken any of these kinds of medications regularly in the past 3 months?" (PMED3MO).

Those who answered "yes" in PMED3MO were further asked, "Can you tell me the name of these medications?" Interviewers entered the names of all pain medications from the flashcard list selected by the respondent, and entered verbatim the volunteered names of any other pain medications mentioned. These answers were the basis of a series of dichotomous variables about the regular use, over the past 3 months, of 12 specific pain medications, plus a residual "other" category for any additional pain medications reported:

  • PMCELE (Took Celecoxib regularly)
  • PMEXCED (Took Excedrin regularly)
  • PMNAPROX (Took Naprosyn or Naproxen regularly)
  • PMVIOX (Took Vioxx regularly)
  • PMOTHER (Took other pain medication regularly)


PMED is only available in 2005.


  • 2005: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2005