Pain in knee osteoarthritis differs by ethnicity

Pain in knee osteoarthritis differs by ethnicity

(HealthDay)—Clinical pain and experimental pain differ by race and ethnicity among older adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to research published online April 11 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues assessed clinical and functional pain in 267 African-Americans (AAs) and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) with knee OA.

The researchers found that, compared with NHWs, AAs with knee OA showed increased pain sensitivity, temporal summation, and reduced pain inhibition. AAs also reported greater clinical pain and poorer function compared with NHWs. Following adjustment for education and income levels, racial and ethnic differences in clinical pain were no longer significant, but differences in quantitative sensory testing (QST) remained significant. Pain inhibition predicted clinical pain in both groups. Other QST measures predicted clinical pain within specific racial/ethnic groups.

"Our study establishes race/ethnic differences in experimental and clinical pain and function in older individuals with knee OA," the authors write.

One author holds stock in Algynomics, a company specializing in pain technology.

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