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Partner’s Depression Ups One's Chance of Chronic Pain

Partner’s Depression Ups One’s Chance of Chronic Pain

A new study finds that partners of people with depression are more likely to suffer from chronic pain. Researchers discovered the two conditions share common causes as the disorders are linked to genetic and environment factors.

Experts say their findings shed new light on chronic pain and could one day help to develop better diagnostic tests and treatments.

University of Edinburgh researchers studied information from more than 100,000 people taking part in large nationwide health studies.

The team analyzed people’s genetic background as well as details about their experiences of pain and depression. Their findings revealed that chronic pain is caused partly by someone’s genetic make-up and partly by as yet unidentified risk factors that are shared jointly by partners or spouses.

Investigators also identified significant overlaps between the risk factors for chronic pain and depression.

Chronic pain is a common cause of disability but little is known about what causes it. Scientists believe the research will bring a new understanding of why some people suffer from the condition and not others.

Investigators assessed data from the Generation Scotland and UK Biobank projects, major studies investigating genetic links to health conditions.

The study was a multidisciplinary collaboration including the Universities of Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Research findings appear in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Professor Andrew McIntosh, chair of biological psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, said, “We hope our research will encourage people to think about the relationship between chronic pain and depression and whether physical and mental illnesses are as separate as some believe.”

Source: University of Edinburgh/EurekAlert

Partner’s Depression Ups One’s Chance of Chronic Pain

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Partner’s Depression Ups One’s Chance of Chronic Pain. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 18 Aug 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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