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Pain Among Men and Women War Veterans Evaluated

Female veterans have lower prevalence of overall, moderate-severe, and persistent pain

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Among veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), women have a lower prevalence of overall pain, moderate-severe pain, and persistent pain compared to men, according to a study in the October issue of Pain Medicine.

Sally G. Haskell, M.D., of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, and colleagues studied 153,212 veterans, including 18,481 women and 134,731 men, who were observed for one year following their last deployment.

In the 91,414 veterans who were assessed for pain, the researchers found that 43.3 percent reported any pain and 63.2 percent reported moderate-severe pain. Although women were less likely than men to report any pain, the researchers found that women with any pain were more likely to report moderate-severe pain but not persistent pain.

"Examining whether sex differences in pain persist, increase or decrease over time is an important next step in VA pain research, and will help guide planning, resource allocation, and policy for women veterans and OEF/OIF veterans of both sexes," the authors write.

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