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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Dec;13(12):859-66. doi: 10.1038/nrn3360.

Sex differences in pain and pain inhibition: multiple explanations of a controversial phenomenon.

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Department of Psychology and the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada.


A clear majority of patients with chronic pain are women; however, it has been surprisingly difficult to determine whether this sex bias corresponds to actual sex differences in pain sensitivity. A survey of the currently available epidemiological and laboratory data indicates that the evidence for clinical and experimental sex differences in pain is overwhelming. Various explanations for this phenomenon have been given, ranging from experiential and sociocultural differences in pain experience between men and women to hormonally and genetically driven sex differences in brain neurochemistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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