Chronic Pain Suffering Leads to High Risks of Depression for Black Men

Among male chronic pain sufferers, Black men are more likely to experience depression, affective distress, and disability than white men, according to study results published in the Journal of the National Medical Association.

Journal of the National Medical Association

The study was performed by researchers at the University of Michigan and described certain factors that may be responsible for the depression and disability.

Lead researcher Carmen R. Green, MD, has previously performed studies that have shown black women to be more severely impacted by chronic pain and minorities, as a whole, to have a harder time managing their pain in terms of filling prescriptions.

The results illustrated that the black men with chronic pain experienced poorer health than white men and factors such as “lower marriage rates” and “engagement in litigation related to their pain” were some of the possible reasons for the worse outcomes.

The study involved 1,600 men; 6 % were black men. Data on the mens’ physical and personal characteristics was collected through clinical surveys and a questionnaire. Researchers examined “health and lifestyle factors such as education, income, marital status, litigation, substance use and high blood pressure” to determine their role in determining the outcomes for men with chronic pain.

"Lower neighborhood income, less education, and lower marriage rates,” were highly associated with the black men in the study. Married men were found to have fewer symptoms of depression, but the black men in the study had a lower rate of marriage. The black men studied also had higher blood pressure percentages and were more likely to be involved in pain-related ongoing legal proceedings compared to the white men.

Researchers suggested that the results can help medical professionals to make appropriate changes to their approach when treating patients for chronic pain.

Among male chronic pain sufferers, black men are more likely to experience depression, affective distress, and disability than white men, according to study results published in the .