Chronic Pain has Family Connections

Startling new science has discovered that genes can greatly increase individual’s risk of developing chronic pain.CP has Family Connections

Professor Andrew McIntosh is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at University of Edinburgh led a team that used data from 23,960 persons in the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study, and 112,151 individuals from the United Kingdom Biobank.

Research suggests that offspring of parents with chronic pain are at increased risk of developing chronic pain by 38.4%; and that shared environment with spouses also accounts for 18.7% of the variation in vulnerability to chronic pain.

Professor McIntosh also found that chronic pain was correlated with major depressive disorder. Data from two genome studies indicated that the risk of chronic pain increases because of the collective effect of many varied genetic factors. The aggregate effects of a genetic predisposition for depression further increased an individual's chance of having chronic pain.

Developing an understanding of the interactions of these complex mechanisms may translate into research that targets new modalities and prevention for children with a higher risk of developing persistent pain.

Source: PLOS. "Genetic and environmental risk factors for chronic pain." (ScienceDaily)


The Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA) is a health promotion charity providing advocacy, information and practical support for people living with chronic (persistent) pain and their families. APMA is the consumer health organisation for all Australians who live with pain. APMA is your voice.


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