Women feel pain more Intensely than Men-bad.jpg

Women appear to experience pain more intensely than men, a study suggests.
US researchers analysed the medical records of more than 160,000 pain scores
reported by more than 72,000 patients with 47 different health problems,
from cancer to back pain, and found that women reported feeling more pain
in nearly every disorder studied.

"We’re certainly not the first to find differences in pain among men and women.
But we focused on pain intensity, whereas most previous studies have looked at prevalence:
the percentage of men vs. women with a particular clinical problem who are in pain, "
said study co-author Dr Atul Butte, from Stanford University.

For the study, the researchers used only adult medical records and looked for
differences in pain intensity as reported on a scale of one to 10, with a zero
the equivalent of no pain and a 10 representing the "worst imaginable" pain.

Only first reported pain scores were used in the study,
before the patients were given any pain-relieving medication.

The study found that women reported more pain for a range of health conditions
including back, neck and joint pain, fibromyalgia, sinusitis and migraine.

"We saw higher pain scores for female patients practically across the board, said Dr Butte.
"In many cases, the reported difference approached a full point on the 1 to 10 scale.
"How big is that? A pain-score improvement of one point is what clinical researchers view as
indicating that a pain medication is working."

However, the study does not explain why one sex should feel pain more intensely than the other.
A possible reason for this could be that men tend to downplay the amount of pain they feel.

Dr Butte said: "While you can imagine such a bias, across studies, across thousands of patients,
it’s hard to believe men are like this. You have to think about biological causes for the difference. "

" It’s still not clear if women actually feel more pain than men do, but they’re certainly
reporting more pain than men do. We don’t know why.

" But it’s not just a few diseases here and there, it’s a bunch of them - in fact,
it may well turn out to be all of them. No matter what the disease, women
appear to report more-intense levels of pain than men do. "

The study is published in the Journal of Pain.

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