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Sex-specific impact of early-life adversity on chronic pain: a large population-based study in Japan

Authors Yamada K, Matsudaira K, Tanaka E, Oka H, Katsuhira J, Iso H

Received 24 October 2016

Accepted for publication 15 December 2016

Published 16 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 427—433


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Keiko Yamada,1,2 Ko Matsudaira,3,4 Eizaburo Tanaka,1,5 Hiroyuki Oka,3 Junji Katsuhira,3,6 Hiroyasu Iso1

1Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Osaka, 2Center for Pain Management, Osaka University Hospital, Suita, Osaka, 3Department of Medical Research and Management for Musculoskeletal Pain, 22nd Century Medical and Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 4Japan Labour Health & Welfare Organization, Tokyo, 5Hyogo Institute for Traumatic Stress, Kobe, 6Department of Prosthetics & Orthotics and Assistive Technology, Faculty of Medical Technology, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan

Background: Responses to early-life adversity may differ by sex. We investigated the ­sex-specific impact of early-life adversity on chronic pain, chronic multisite pain, and somatizing tendency with chronic pain.
We examined 4229 respondents aged 20–79 years who participated in the Pain Associated Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Survey in Japan. Outcomes were: 1) chronic pain prevalence, 2) multisite pain (≥3 sites) prevalence, and 3) multiple somatic symptoms (≥3 symptoms) among respondents with chronic pain related to the presence or absence of early-life adversity.
Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals using a logistic regression model including age, smoking status, exercise routine, sleep time, body mass index, household expenditure, and the full distribution of scores on the Mental Health Inventory-5. We further adjusted for pain intensity when we analyzed the data for respondents with chronic pain.
Results: The prevalence of chronic pain was higher among respondents reporting the presence of early-life adversity compared with those reporting its absence, with multivariable ORs of 1.62 (1.22–2.15, p<0.01) in men and 1.47 (1.13–1.90, p<0.01) in women. Among women with chronic pain, early-life adversity was associated with multisite pain and multiple somatic symptoms; multivariable ORs were 1.78 (1.22–2.60, p<0.01) for multisite pain and 1.89 (1.27–2.83, p<0.01) for ≥3 somatic symptoms. No associations were observed between early-life adversity and chronic multisite pain or multiple somatic symptoms among men with chronic pain.
Conclusion: Early-life adversity may be linked to a higher prevalence of chronic pain among both sexes and to multisite pain and somatizing tendency among women with chronic pain.

sex characteristics, early-life adversity, chronic pain, somatoform disorders, disaster

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