Pain may be a universal ailment, but recent findings suggest that the socioeconomic status and living conditions of an individual may contribute heavily to the influence and severity of pain in his or her life.
"Adults under the age of 50 who live in low-income neighborhoods experience more chronic pain than those in more affluent communities, new research finds," according to an MSN health article.
Although living conditions and socioeconomic status were found to have large implications, researchers found that blacks had more chronic pain and disability in comparison to whites no matter where they lived.
"The study included 3,730 adults, all under age 50, and was designed to examine the association between race and poor neighborhoods for black and white adults suffering from chronic pain," according to an American News Report by Pat Anson. "Living in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood was linked with more pain, pain-related disability and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety."
The study was published in the Journal of Pain, and Carmen R. Green, a pain medicine expert at the University of Michigan Health System, was the study's lead author. The study provides indications that physicians should take more factors into account when treating and diagnosing patients for chronic pain.
“Acknowledging the patient’s life circumstances and resources may facilitate physician-patient communication, increase adherence, improve health care effectiveness and efficiency and improve the patient’s health and well-being,” Green said in the American News Report.
Barriers to quality health care in poor communities seem to be an explanation for the results of the study.
"Access to health insurance, for example, also plays a role in who sees a dentist, or any other health professional for that matter," according to an article in The Atlantic Cities by Nate Berg. "In lower-income areas, there's a higher chance that people's jobs don't provide health insurance, which might make someone more likely to simply deal with that bum leg than go get it checked out. And it's often the case that one ailment leads to another, creating a cycle of medical or pain issues that only get worse."