A RESOLUTION

 

1Designating the month of September 2013 as "Women in Chronic
2Pain Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania to recognize the need
3to raise awareness concerning gender disparity in pain
4assessment and treatment.

5WHEREAS, Research indicates that differences in men and women
6exist in the experience of pain, with women generally
7experiencing more recurrent pain, more severe pain and longer-
8lasting pain than men; and

9WHEREAS, Women have a higher prevalence than men of chronic
10pain syndromes and diseases associated with chronic pain, such
11as fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and
12osteoarthritis; and

13WHEREAS, Although women and men both have strong natural
14pain-killing systems, these systems operate differently as the
15presence of estrogen lowers an individual's threshold for pain
16while testosterone elevates an individual's tolerance for pain;
17and

18WHEREAS, A 2001 study in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and 
19Ethics found that women's pain reports are taken less seriously

1than those of men and that women receive less aggressive
2treatment than men for their pain; and

3WHEREAS, The typical patient with chronic pain is a 55-year-
4old woman, but the typical subject in a chronic pain study is an
58-week-old male mouse; and

6WHEREAS, According to the National Institutes of Health, pain
7is the most common reason Americans access the health care
8system and more than 76.5 million Americans suffer from pain,
9both chronic and acute, which increases health care costs,
10estimated at $100 billion annually in health care expenses, lost
11income and lost productivity; and

12WHEREAS, Because women respond differently than men to many
13pain medications and tend to receive less aggressive treatment,
14their pain is often more all-encompassing and the level of
15disability is greater; and

16WHEREAS, The difference in the treatment of women in pain, as
17compared to that of men, is more than a personal or gender
18issue; it is a societal issue; and

19WHEREAS, The Women in Pain Awareness Group was founded in
202010 to increase awareness of the gender disparity women
21experience worldwide in the research, assessment and treatment
22of their chronic pain; and

23WHEREAS, The Women in Pain Awareness Group, along with
24Persons With Pain International, believes empowering women to be
25better consumers for their chronic pain management care,
26sensitizing health care professionals to gender pain disparities
27and enlightening public policymakers about chronic pain as a
28major health issue will improve life for all women in chronic
29pain; therefore be it

30RESOLVED, That the Senate designate the month of September

12013 as "Women in Chronic Pain Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania;
2and be it further

3RESOLVED, That the Senate draw public attention to the
4important need for women to have their chronic pain managed
5effectively and without bias through self-empowerment, public
6awareness, health care professional education and legislative
7advocacy.