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Early Childhood Pain Can Predict Chronic Pain in Adolescence
CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2016 -- A new study published in The Journal of Pain reported that children who experience pain at age 10 may be at risk for continued pain problems in adolescence, and sleep difficulties might be the best predictor for childhood and adolescent pain problems. The Journal of Pain is published by the American Pain Society, www.americanpainsociety.org.
For the study, Australian researchers used population-based data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and adopted a biopsychosocial and ecological systems approach to investigate child, family and sociodemographic factors associated with pain problems in children transitioning into adolescence. They sought to describe the location, frequency and severity of pain in late childhood (10-11 years) and early adolescence (12-13 years) and determine predictors in late childhood for pain problems in early adolescence. The authors noted that few population studies investigated a broad range of child and family factors for determining which hold the most promise as targets for early intervention efforts and prevention.
Previous studies have shown that effective prevention and early intervention are essential to avoid risk for ongoing pain problems in adolescence. The peak onset of persistent pain occurs during adolescence, which makes late childhood or the transition to adolescence a critical development window for clinical intervention.
Data from the analysis showed that approximately 11 percent of children ages 10-13 report pain symptoms to their parents, and headache is the most common. Results also suggest that children 10 to 11 years old who had pain occurring one to seven times a week are at risk for pain in early adolescence at a rate as high as 26 percent greater than children with no pain.
The authors concluded their findings suggest that pain occurring at least weekly might be a useful marker in late childhood to identify children at highest risk for recurring pain problems, and they would benefit from clinical interventions.
Further, sleep deficiency was identified as a significant predictor for pain symptoms. Sleep deficiency at 10 to 11 years was associated with two times greater odds for pain problems in early adolescence.
About the American Pain Society
Based in Chicago, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS is the professional home for investigators involved in all aspects of pain research including basic, translational, clinical and health services research to obtain the support and inspiration they need to flourish professionally. APS strongly advocates expansion of high quality pain research to help advance science to achieve effective and responsible pain relief. For more information on APS, visit www.americanpainsociety.org.