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Why women suffer more headaches

health-and-fitness Updated: Aug 14, 2010 18:17 IST

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Why do women suffer from headaches more than men?

Women feel chronic pain, including headaches, for longer and more intense durations and more often than men.

Jennifer Kelly of the Atlanta Centre for Behavioural Medicine in the US said studies have shown that women are 50 percent more likely to suffer headaches, neck, shoulder, knee and backache, reports the


They are also two-and-a-half times more likely to be struck by a migraine, said Kelly.

The findings could explain why women sometimes use having a headache as a way of avoiding sex when men say it would never put them off.

She said the latest research offers interesting insights into how physicians and mental health providers can better treat women with chronic pain.

Kelly told the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association that "chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men around the world".

She said other chronic pain conditions more prevalent in women than in men include fibromyalgia or widespread muscle pain, irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Women are also more likely than men to experience multiple painful conditions simultaneously, which can lead to greater psychological distress and greater likelihood of disability, she added.