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Papers: 11 May 2019 - 17 May 2019

Human Studies

2019 Apr 08


The relationship between regional pain with or without neuropathic symptoms and chronic widespread pain.


McBeth J, Mulvey MR, Rashid A, Anderson J, Druce K
Pain. 2019 Apr 08.
PMID: 31095095.


This study was performed to test whether the risk of developing chronic widespread pain (CWP) in those with regional pain was augmented in those with symptoms of neuropathic pain (NP). Persons free of CWP completed the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (scores ≥3 indicating NP); demographics; Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; and pain medications. Participants were classified as having no pain, regional pain with no symptoms of NP (NP-), or regional pain with symptoms of NP (NP). At the 12-month follow-up, participants with CWP were identified. Logistic regression estimated the odds ratio, with 95% confidence intervals, of CWP in the NP- and NP groups compared with no pain, and NP compared with NP-. Partial population attributable risks estimated the proportion of CWP attributable to baseline NP- or NP exposure. One thousand one hundred sixty-two participants completed the baseline DN4 and provided pain data at follow-up: 523 (45.0%) had no baseline pain, 562 (48.4%) NP-, and 77 (6.6%) NP. One hundred fifty-three (13.2%) had CWP at 12 months: 19 (3.6%) no pain, 108 (19.2%) NP-, and 26 (33.8%) NP. NP- (2.9 [1.9-4.3]) and NP (2.1 [1.1-4.0]) predicted CWP after adjusting for demographics, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and medications. The partial population attributable risk was 41.3% (25.2-54.0) for NP- and 6.0% (0.1-11.6) for NP. The NP group were not more likely to develop CWP when compared directly with NP- (1.5 [0.8-2.8]). Neuropathic pain was relatively rare and predicted a small number of new-onset CWP cases. Using these estimates, treatments targeting NP would at best prevent 6% of CWP cases.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.