Its said that men feel pain more keenly than women, but a new study led by an Indian- origin scientist has now found that women appear to be more sensitive to pain than the opposite sex.
Researchers from Stanford Unive
rsity School of Medicine in California analysed pain scores recorded in the medical records of over 72,000 patients and found that on average women reported feeling more pain in 39 of the 47 common health problems.
Lead researcher Atul Butte, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, said: ” We saw higher pain scores for female patients practically across the board. ” In many cases, the reported difference approached a full point on the one- to- 10 scale,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. Hormones, genes or psychological factors could explain the differences and doctors should pay more attention to how pain differs between men and women, the researchers said.
In what they believe to be the largest ever study, published in the Journal of Pain, they found differences in the levels of pain reported by men and women for certain disorders, including back conditions, sinusitis and hernias.
The biggest differences were in problems with joints, digestion, circulation and breathing disorders.
They also found women reported worse migraines and neck pain, something previous studies have not identified. ” Our data support the idea that sex differences exist, and they indicate that clinicians should pay increased attention to this idea,” Butte said.
However, pain experts are still not sure that women do actually experience more pain. It might just be that men are culturally programmed to be macho and not admit how much pain they really feel, he said.