I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 May 2021 - 28 May 2021

Human Studies

2021 May 22

J Pain

Are cardiometabolic markers of allostatic load associated with pronociceptive processes in Native Americans?: A structural equation modeling analysis from the Oklahoma Study of Native American Pain Risk.


Rhudy JL, Kuhn BL, Demuth MJ, Huber FA, Hellman N, Toledo TA, Lannon EW, Palit S, Payne MF, Sturycz CA, Kell PA, Guereca YM, Street EN, Shadlow JO
J Pain. 2021 May 22.
PMID: 34033965.


Native Americans (NAs) experience higher rates of chronic pain than the general U.S. population, but the risk factors for this pain disparity are unknown. NAs also experience high rates of stressors and cardiovascular and metabolic health disparities (eg, diabetes, cardiovascular disease) consistent with allostatic load (stress-related wear-and-tear on homeostatic systems). Given that allostatic load is associated with chronic pain, then allostatic load may contribute to their pain disparity. Data from 302 healthy, pain-free men and women (153 NAs, 149 non-Hispanic Whites [NHW]) were analyzed using structural equation modeling to determine whether cardiometabolic allostatic load (body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate variability) mediated the relationship between NA ethnicity and experimental measures of pronociceptive processes: temporal summation of pain (TS-pain) and the nociceptive flexion reflex (TS-NFR), conditioned pain modulation of pain (CPM-pain) and NFR (CPM-NFR), and pain tolerance. Results indicated that NAs experienced greater cardiometabolic allostatic load that was related to enhanced TS-NFR and impaired CPM-NFR. Cardiometabolic allostatic load was unrelated to measures of pain perception (CPM-pain, TS-pain, pain sensitivity). This suggests cardiometabolic allostatic load may promote spinal sensitization in healthy NAs, that is not concomitant with pain sensitization, perhaps representing a unique pain risk phenotype in NAs. Perspective: Healthy, pain-free Native Americans experienced greater cardiometabolic allostatic load that was associated with a pronociceptive pain phenotype indicative of latent spinal sensitization (ie, spinal sensitization not associated with hyperalgesia). This latent spinal sensitization could represent a pain risk phenotype for this population.