Can women endure more pain than men?

January 25th, 2012 - 10:50 am ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 25 (IANS) For many people, the debate whether men or women handle pain better may remain unresolved, but scientists now say that females endure more pain.

Researchers have discovered that across a range of conditions from arthritis to digestive problems, women patients typically experience greater discomfort than men, the Daily Mail reported.

While looking into the records of 11,000 patients, they found that, overall, women rated their pain higher on a scale of one to 11, about how bad they were feeling.

As part of their routine medical care, the patients had been asked to rate how they felt on a scale of 1 to 10, with 0 being “no pain” and 10 being “worst pain imaginable”.

Women reported more intense pain than men in 14 of 47 disease categories. Men did not report more intense pain in any category and in the rest they were even.

The differences between the sexes were notable in circulation, arthritis, respiratory and digestive problems. There was also a difference in issues with bones and muscles, plus severe nasal problems, neck and joint pain and high blood pressure.

The typical difference between men and women was just one point on the pain scale, but that could be the difference between a drug working and not working.

Lead author Atul Butte, chief of systems medicine in the department of paediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, said that the disparity was the most surprising finding.

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