A study, reported in a special issue ofPain Medicine (January 2005), found thatadults under the age of 50 with chronicpain may have more difficulty handlingtheir condition, compared with their elders.The researchers also found that individualsunder the age 50 experiencedepression associated with pain. Thegeneration gap is found in both AfricanAmericans and Caucasians. AfricanAmericans of all ages, however, appearedto experience more pain andpain-related negative effects, comparedwith Caucasians.
During the 8-year study, the researchersanalyzed data on 5823 AfricanAmericans and Caucasians. The participantswere divided into 2 groups: under50 and 50 and older. In general, the studyshowed that African Americans scoredhigher than Caucasians on measurementsof pain intensity, disability relatedto their pain, and depression symptoms.The researchers concluded that the findingsare consistent with past studies onpain that evaluated racial differences inchronic pain experience.