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Heritability of chronic pain in 2195 extended families

Heritability of chronic pain in 2195 extended families

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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  • L J Hocking (Lead / Corresponding author)
  • A D Morris
  • A F Dominiczak
  • D J Porteous
  • B H Smith (Lead / Corresponding author)
  • Generation Scotland

Research units


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Journal publication dateAug 2012


Chronic pain is pathological, persisting beyond normal tissue healing time. Previous work has suggested ~50% variation in chronic pain development is heritable. No data are currently available on the heritability of pain categorized using the Chronic Pain Grade (CPG). Furthermore, few existing studies have accounted for potential confounders that may themselves be under genetic control or indeed 'heritable' non-genetic traits. This study aimed to determine the relative contributions of genetic, measured and shared environmental and lifestyle factors to chronic pain. Chronic pain status was determined and CPG measured in participants from Generation Scotland: the Scottish Family Health Study, a large cohort of well-characterized, extended families from throughout Scotland, UK. Heritability estimates (h (2) ) for 'any chronic pain' and 'severe' chronic pain (CPG 3 or 4) were generated using SOLAR software, with and without adjustment for shared household effects and measured covariates age, body mass index, gender, household income, occupation and physical activity. Data were available for 7644 individuals in 2195 extended families. Without adjustment, h (2) for 'any chronic pain' was 29% [standard errors (SE) 6%; p?


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