Public Release: 

Long-term opioid therapy relieves chronic pain in only 20 percent of women

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, October 8, 2015--Women, and especially younger women, are much less likely than men to have good relief of chronic, non-cancer pain with long-term opioid use, with only one in five women reporting low levels of pain and high levels of function with chronic opioid therapy in a new study published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers . The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website until November 8, 2015.

In "Sex and Age Differences in Global Pain Status Among Patients Using Opioids Long-Term for Chronic Non-cancer Pain", Linda LeResche, ScD and coauthors, University of Washington School of Dentistry and School of Medicine, Seattle, and Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, evaluated global pain status among chronic opioid therapy users. The researchers report that young and middle-aged women are at particularly high risk for unfavorable global pain status, and this population also faces unique risks from opioid use, such as reduced fertility and potential effects of opioids used during pregnancy on the developing fetus.

"Given the high rates of chronic opioid use in women along with evidence of poor relief from pain and concerning risks, particularly in reproductive-aged women, we need more effective and safer options for managing pain in this population," Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

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About the Journal

Journal of Women's Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Led by Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health, the Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women's Health website. Journal of Women's Health is the official journal of the Academy of Women's Health and the Society for Women's Health Research.

About the Academy

Academy of Women's Health is an interdisciplinary, international association of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work across the broad field of women's health, providing its members with up-to-date advances and options in clinical care that will enable the best outcomes for their women patients. The Academy's focus includes the dissemination of translational research and evidence-based practices for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women across the lifespan.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including LGBT Health, Transgender Health, Population Health Management, and Breastfeeding Medicine. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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