If you’re a young black adult who suffers from chronic pain and lives in a poor
neighborhood, chances are you’re likely to have more severe aches than your white counterparts, and you’ll find the discomfort more difficult to manage too, according to a study published in The Journal of Pain and reported by the University of Michigan
For the study, researchers examined data from 3,730 adults, all younger than 50. Participants submitted information about race, socioeconomic status and where they lived.
Researchers found that young adults who lived in poorer neighborhoods had increased rates of sensory and affective pain, pain-related disability and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. 
What’s more, scientists found that black patients, especially young adults, had
significantly more pain and disability, regardless of what neighborhood they lived in. 
“Our results provide support for race as well as neighborhood socioeconomic status influencing the pain experience but further suggests that better socioeconomic status is not protective for young blacks in the same way it is for young whites,” said Carmen R. Green, MD, a pain medicine expert at the University of Michigan Health System, and the study’s lead author.
Green suggested doctors must understand their patients’ life circumstances and what resources are available to them (as well as what economic and social barriers they may face) in order to increase adherence, improve health care effectiveness and efficiency and improve the patient’s health and well-being.
In general, the results of the study showed that certain factors played a vital role in pain management. These factors included where patients lived, how wealthy they were and how much access they had to resources such as pain medications.
According to Green, as the United States becomes more diverse and more people suffer from chronic pain, it’s critical to examine health disparities linked to pain in vulnerable populations.
Did you know that where you live can also affect your heart’s health? Click here to learn more.