WHY ARE OLDER WOMEN PRONE TO CHRONIC PAIN?
Obesity is the key. Pain intensity and interference of pain with daily life among older adults are more common in women and are associated with obesity. Inflammatory compounds are released from visceral fat tissue, and obesity is considered to be a proinflammatory state. Chronic inflammation is in turn associated with pain.
A new study found that an inflammatory marker termed C-reactive protein (CRP) was higher in older obese women who had chronic pain. This association was not seen in men, and this finding is unexplained.
The message is that treating and especially preventing obesity may reduce the burden of chronic pain.
This study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology 2015 Annual Meeting. The lead study author was Vahid Eslami, MD.