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Women's Health Watch

Pain Assessment Shows Women to Be More Sensitive

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004   [ Request Print ]

Race is not a factor, but gender is when it comes to pain sensitivity. A study reported in the Journal of Pain (April 2004) found that women are more sensitive to pain, compared with men. The Duke University study included 135 participants (76 men and 59 women) aged 25 to 45. Of the participants, 72 were African American, and the rest were Caucasian.

For the study, a blood pressure cuff was inflated on the arm of each participant and left inflated for several minutes, which created an aching sensation. The participants were asked to rate their pain according to standard pain-rating scales. The scales measure both the intensity and the unpleasantness of the pain.

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