Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Black Patients With Chronic Pain Less Likely To Have Obesity Assessed

Date:
October 14, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Black patients with chronic pain were less likely to have their weight or body mass index recorded, even though they are at higher risk for having obesity when compared with their white counterparts.

At the intersection of two U.S. health epidemics – obesity and chronic pain – researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found black patients with chronic pain were less likely to have their weight or body mass index (BMI) recorded, even though they are at higher risk for having obesity when compared with their white counterparts.

This new study also revealed that obesity is related to greater disability and poorer functioning, over and above the impact of a person's pain level.

Obesity contributes to chronic pain and several other chronic conditions, leading to decreased health and quality of life. Chronic pain also leads to decreased health and quality of life, says senior author Carmen R. Green, M.D. Disparities in the chronic pain experience and obesity exist, with blacks more likely to be negatively impacted, she notes.

Black people also are more likely to experience disability and lower physical functioning than white people, when faced with chronic pain, says Green, associate professor of anesthesiology and health management and policy, and director of Pain Medicine Research at the U-M Medical School and School of Public Health. The study appears in the Journal of Pain.

"Assessing a patient's weight and height is necessary to calculate BMI. Once assessed, a dialogue can begin between the patient and health care team to address obesity," Green says. "These findings provide further evidence of the negative effect obesity, measured via BMI, can have on a person's overall health and well-being in general and on chronic pain in particular.

"This is a reminder about the importance of assessing height and weight and measuring BMI in patients with chronic pain, especially minorities."

However, the goal is made more difficult because black patients are less likely to have their BMI assessed, the study found. "Both chronic pain and obesity are reaching epidemic proportions. Considering their public health implications in terms of disability, BMI should be regularly assessed especially in populations who are at increased risk," Green says.

It is not clear why it was less likely black patients would have their BMI measured, even though they may be at increased risk for higher BMI and obesity, researchers say. But they point out that the gap could indicate a lower quality of care than what is provided to white patients.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, people with a BMI lower than 18.5 are considered underweight; people between 18.5 and 24.9 are normal weight; people between 25 and 29.9 are overweight; and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are obese. This table shows the BMI of people at various weights and heights.

By the numbers:

Researchers studied 183 people – 92 white and 91 black, 68 men and 115 women, ages 31 to 46. New black patients attending a pain clinic at U-M were asked to participate, and were matched with a white chronic pain patient of the same gender and similar age.

When the height and weight was available it was taken from the electronic medical record. Patients were asked to indicate on a diagram of the human body where they were in pain, how long they've been in pain and what caused it. They also were given the McGill Pain Questionnaire and the West Haven Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory to evaluate the intensity of their pain and its impact on their life.

The BMI was notably higher for blacks than whites (31.6 vs. 27.6). Blacks were less likely to have complete height and weight data in their records than whites (73 percent vs. 84 percent). Those without BMI data had higher pain severity scores.

In addition to Green, Julia Caldwell, M.D. and Tamera Hart-Johnson, M.S. were co-authors of the paper.

AETNA Quality Care Foundation provided funding for the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Caldwell et al. Body Mass Index and Quality of Life: Examining Blacks and Whites With Chronic Pain. The Journal of Pain, 2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.07.005

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Black Patients With Chronic Pain Less Likely To Have Obesity Assessed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014134017.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2008, October 14). Black Patients With Chronic Pain Less Likely To Have Obesity Assessed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014134017.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Black Patients With Chronic Pain Less Likely To Have Obesity Assessed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014134017.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins