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J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jan;46(1):118-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Prevalence and psychiatric correlates of pain interference among men and women in the general population.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.



To examine gender differences in the associations of levels of pain interference and psychiatric disorders among a nationally representative sample of adult men and women.


Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed on data obtained from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions from 42,750 adult respondents (48% men; 52% women), who were categorized according to three levels of pain interference (i.e., no or low pain interference [NPI], moderate pain interference [MPI], severe pain interference [SPI]).


Female respondents in comparison to male respondents were more likely to exhibit moderate (p < 0.001) or severe pain interference (p < 0.001). Levels of pain interference were associated with past-year Axis I and lifetime Axis II psychiatric disorders in both male and female respondents (p < 0.05), with the largest odds typically observed in association with moderate or severe pain interference. A stronger relationship between MPI and alcohol abuse or dependence (OR = 1.61, p < 0.05) was observed in male participants as compared to female ones, while a stronger relationship between SPI and drug abuse or dependence (OR = 0.57, p < 0.05) was observed in female respondents as compared to male ones.


Levels of pain interference are associated with the prevalence of Axis I and Axis II psychiatric disorders in both men and women. Differences in the patterns of co-occurring substance-related disorders between levels of pain interference in male and female respondents indicate the importance of considering gender-related factors associated with levels of pain interference in developing improved mental health prevention and treatment strategies.

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