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Men versus women on pain

Monday 17 November 2014


From Singapore's The Straits Times (via AsiaOne YourHealth):



Men versus women on pain

By Ng Wan Ching
Mind Your Body, The Straits Times
Saturday, Nov 15, 2014

There is a gender gap in who feels more pain, with women pulling ahead of men.

In all epidemiological studies, women consistently report a higher prevalence of pain than men, say doctors.

For example, an Australian study in 2000 reported chronic pain in 17 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women.

In 2008, a study of 85,000 people in 10 developed and seven developing countries found that the prevalence of any chronic pain condition was 45 per cent among women compared with 31 per cent among men.

This is consistent with the local trend.

Some 10.9 per cent of women here have chronic pain, which is defined as having pain for more than three months, said Dr Tan Kian Hian, director of the Pain Management Centre at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

But only 7.6 per cent of men reported having this problem, added Dr Tan, who is a senior consultant at the hospital's department of anaesthesiology. The overall prevalence of chronic pain in Singapore is 8.7 per cent.

What research has thrown up so far is that women suffer painful conditions more often than men.

For headaches and pain of the neck, shoulder, knee and back, the women to men ratio is 1.5 to 1, according to international population-based studies, say doctors.

Twice as many women suffer from orofacial (mouth and face) pain conditions than men.

And the ratio for migraine headaches is even higher at 2.5 to 1.

When it comes to widespread aches and pains (fibromyalgia syndrome), women are up to 10 times more likely to experience this pain than men, said Dr Bernard Lee, director and consultant at the Women's Pain Centre at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).


The full article can be found here.


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