Seattle, WA October 15, 2007 Today, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has declared 2008 the Global Year Against Pain in Women to draw attention to the significant impact of chronic pain on women and the need for more effective care. Lack of awareness of pain issues affecting women and gender disparities in treatment and research contribute to the suffering of millions of women.
Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men, but unfortunately they are also less likely to receive treatment compared to men due to various cultural, economic and political barriers, said Troels S. Jensen, MD, President of IASP, Professor of Experimental and Clinical Pain Research, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark. IASP hopes to provide a voice to these women by drawing attention to this global issue as a first step towards reducing pain and suffering of women around the world.
Real Women, Real Pain
Research has shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain and longer lasting pain than men. Chronic pain conditions which affect women more than men include fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic pelvic pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (i.e., TMJ) and migraine headache.
Women appear to experience pain differently than men, although the reason is not entirely understood. It is believed that this difference is due to numerous biological reasons including genetic, hormonal and pharmacological factors/influences. In addition, psychosocial and cultural disease factors/influences play an important role in how women experience pain.
Over the next year, the Real Women, Real Pain campaign will educate the public, healthcare providers and government leaders/agencies about the lack of diagnosis and adequate treatment of chronic pain in women. This will help to:
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