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09th Apr 2021

Study reveals women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than men

Melissa Carton

Very interesting.

A recent study has discovered that women are far more likely to suffer from chronic pain than men.

The study conducted by the University of Glasgow found that more women than men carry genes associated with long lasting conditions.

During the study researchers looked for genetic variants linked to chronic pain among 209,093 women and 178,556 men.

From this research they found that women had 31 genes associated with the long lasting condition.

They also discovered that chronic pain largely comes from the brain rather than the part of the body where it actually hurts which can make it even harder for the sufferer to receive an accurate diagnosis.

Speaking about the study, Author doctoral student Keira Johnston said:

“Our study highlights the importance of considering sex as a biological variable and showed subtle but interesting sex differences in the genetics of chronic pain.

Women may be at greater risk of experiencing chronic pain because the condition has a different genetic basis in men and women.

Research into chronic pain and potentially other complex conditions will likely benefit from approaches that take sex into account.

Overall, these findings add to our understanding of chronic pain and may inform the development of novel therapies for this hard-to-treat condition.”


Around 35 per cent of Irish adults say that they suffer with some type of chronic pain.

According to Chronic Pain Ireland, progress is being made to ensure all patients receive diagnosis as quickly as possible.

In 2020 the IASP introduced a revised definition of pain, the result of a two-year process that the association hopes will lead to revised ways of assessing pain.

“IASP and the Task Force that wrote the revised definition and notes did so to better convey the nuances and the complexity of pain and hoped that it would lead to improved assessment and management of those with pain.”