Study Pinpoints Links of Depression with Chronic Pain

June 17, 2009,

It is well known that chronic pain and clinical depression go together, but a study in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society, shows that the connection between pain and depression is strongest in middle-age women and African Americans.

Researchers at Wayne State University studied a representative community sample of 1,100 Michigan residents and found that the incidence of , defined as pain persisting for six months, was 22 percent. Approximately 35 percent of those with chronic pain said they had , but mood problems were not associated with a particular pain condition or pain site. Researchers evaluated several demographic factors and found that older age was generally related to chronic pain but with comorbid depression. They noted that depression tends to decrease with age while pain tends to increase.

From the data, the authors concluded that in middle-age women chronic pain might not be the cause of depression but preexisting mood problems could be associated with development of chronic pain. They further concluded that depression can increase vulnerability to experiencing persistent pain.

The study also showed that African Americans were more likely to have chronic pain with depression than Caucasians. Further analysis showed that racial differences were not attributable to possible socioeconomic factors but might be associated with differences in the use of pain coping strategies. Though income was not a significant risk factor for the study, the authors indicated that occupational factors, such as physically demanding work and poor or no health insurance coverage, may account for the link between lower socioeconomic status and pain, and that financial strain and stress are closely linked with depression.

From their findings, the authors recommend that clinicians screen pain patients for depression and pay close attention to middle-age women and African Americans for whom risk for comorbid depression is the highest.

Source: American Pain Society

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

otto1923
not rated yet Jun 17, 2009
Depression also caused by damaged brains which begin to atrophy after adolescence. Not to mention accumulating subliminal aches and pains which remind us we are going to end. More indications that unnatural evolution in an overcrowded world has produced a flawed design.
Nan2
not rated yet Jun 18, 2009
stress=inflammation=pain=stress=depression=pain=stress=
hormonal changes=stress=inflammation=pain=fatigue=depression=stress=
pain.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.