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Black men with chronic pain at higher risk for depression, disability
Date:4/15/2010

Ann Arbor, Mich. Black men with chronic pain related to an accident, injury, illness, surgery or other causes were more likely to experience depression, affective distress and disability than white men with chronic pain, according to a new study by the University of Michigan Health System.

The persistent pain black men experienced was more severe which might lead to greater disability, but the study by U-M researchers give clues to other factors that drive the downward spiral to depression and disability.

The findings are reported in the April issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association and part of a body of work developed by U-M pain medicine physician and anesthesiologist Carmen R. Green, M.D., on racial disparities in the pain experience.

Through previous research Green has shown that black women are more severely impacted by chronic pain, and in general minorities have a harder time filling prescriptions for painkillers in their local pharmacies.

The latest study shows black men with chronic pain are in poorer overall health than white men and are at higher risk for not being able to take care of themselves or their families.

The study suggests the reasons for the worse outcomes among black men vary from their lower marriage rates to engagement in litigation related to their pain.

Green, a professor of anesthesiology and obstetrics and gynecology, and associate professor of health management and policy at the U-M, worked with Tamara Hart-Johnson, M.S., senior research associate, to create one of the most detailed picture yet of chronic pain's effect on the health of black men.

"Gender related differences and disparities are known. However, most studies designed to examine racial and ethnic disparities ignore gender, while those exploring gender focus primarily on a single gender, most often women," Green says.

More than 1,600 men were part of the researc
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Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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