Racial Differences in Pain, Nutrition, and Oxidative Stress

Academic Article


  • Investigating the disproportionate rates of chronic pain and their related comorbidities between Black and non-Hispanic White (White) individuals is a growing area of interest, both in the healthcare community and in general society. Researchers have identified racial differences in chronic pain prevalence and severity, but still very little is known about the mechanisms underlying them. Current explanations for these differences have primarily focused on socioeconomic status and unequal healthcare between races as causal factors. Whereas these factors are informative, a racial gap still exists between Black and White individuals when these factors are controlled for. One potential cause of this racial gap in chronic pain is the differences in nutrition and dietary intake between groups. Certain foods play a key role in the inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways in the human body and could potentially influence the severity of the pain experience. Here, we review the previous literature on the surrounding topics and propose a potential mechanism to explain racial differences in the chronic pain population, based on established racial differences in diet and oxidative stress.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pain and Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Strath LJ; Sorge RE
  • Start Page

  • 37
  • End Page

  • 56
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1