Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chronic Pain Epidemic & Gender Disparities


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We've known for many years there are extreme disparities in medical research and treatment between men and women. Though some advances have been made, there is still neither an adequate amount of research funding going toward conditions that are predominantly experienced by women, nor adequate education and information about those diseases. As many as 50 million American women suffer from prevalent, but poorly understood chronic pain conditions at an annual cost of $80 billion per year.

An alliance called The Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women is reaching out to Congress to ask for change. The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) has been studying the issue of chronic pain research, care and education in response to a directive from the Congressional Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). The IOM report is scheduled to be released at the end of this month and will include recommendations on how to address the epidemic of chronic pain. The Campaign has drafted a letter to the HELP committee to ask them to hold a hearing on the findings of the IOM study, in particular focusing on the impact of chronic pain on women.

Obviously this is a far cry from the necessary increase in research funding, education and public awareness for disorders that disproportionally impact women, including migraine disease, but it's a good first step. You can learn more about the work of the Campaign at their website: the Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women.

Sources:
Women's Advocates Send Letter to Congress Requesting Hearing on Chronic Pain
Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women


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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.