The association of hormone replacement therapy with experimental pain responses in postmenopausal women

Roger B. Fillingim, Robert R. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Considerable experimental research suggests that ovarian hormones can influence pain perception, and recent epidemiologic and clinical research suggests that exogenous hormone use may influence the prevalence and severity of clinical pain among women. However, to date no studies have examined the influence of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on experimental pain responses and recent pain complaints among postmenopausal women. In this study, self-reported recent pain and general health were obtained, and thermal pain responses were assessed in three groups of healthy older adults: (1) women on HRT, (2) women not on HRT (No-HRT), and (3) men. Results indicated no group differences in recent pain complaints or self-reported health, but differences emerged for measures of thermal pain perception. Specifically, HRT women showed lower pain thresholds and tolerances than No-HRT women and men, and the latter two groups did not differ from each other. The potential explanations and limitations of the observed findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalPain
Volume92
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Estrogen
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Pain threshold
  • Postmenopausal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Psychology

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