Across the United States, people of color experience higher levels of pain and poorer access to care than their white counterparts. A new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open sheds light on this persistent disparity by assessing data from a nationally representative sample of adults.
Researchers found that, compared to whites, members of racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report having pain that interfered with their daily activities. Minority group members were also more likely to say they had pain that was severe, constant, or both.
What’s more, minority group members were less likely to have seen a pain specialist and to have had their pain adequately treated, compared to whites.
“This study provides critical new insights into disparities in pain and pain care in the United States,” said study author Dr. Andrew Schaefer, an anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
“We found that minority groups are disproportionately burdened by pain, and that this burden is often undertreated. These findings have important implications for clinical care and public health policy.”
The study’s findings are consistent with previous research showing that people of color are more likely to experience pain and to have poorer access to pain care. However, the new study is the first to use nationally representative data to assess pain disparities by race and ethnicity.
The study’s findings suggest that minority group members are more likely to experience pain because of a combination of societal, economic, and biological factors. For example, minority group members are more likely to live in poverty, which has been linked to higher levels of chronic pain. Additionally, minority group members are more likely to experience racism, which has been shown to increase the risk for pain.
“This study underscores the need for continued efforts to reduce pain disparities in the United States,” said Dr. Schaefer. “We need to develop interventions that address the social and economic factors that contribute to pain in minority communities, and we need to ensure that all people have access to high-quality pain care.”
A recent study has found that racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States are more likely to experience pain than their white counterparts. The study, which was published in the journal Pain, surveyed a nationally representative sample of adults to investigate pain disparities among different groups.
The results showed that non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were more likely to report pain than non-Hispanic whites. Asians and Pacific Islanders were also more likely to report pain than whites. These disparities were especially pronounced among women and those with lower incomes.
The study’s authors say that these findings challenge the commonly held belief that pain is evenly distributed across racial and ethnic groups. They believe that the results could help to explain why minority groups are more likely to experience poorer health outcomes.
The study’s authors say that more research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to pain disparities among racial and ethnic groups. However, they believe that the findings could lead to improved pain management for minority groups in the United States.