Do Adults With Obesity Feel Pain More Intensely?

Research suggests that adults with excess weight or obesity tend to experience higher levels of pain intensity than those with a normal weight, possibly due to pathophysiological changes caused by obesity. A meta-analysis of 22 studies including over 31,000 adults found that individuals with excess weight or obesity reported higher pain intensities compared to those with normal weight, with a small effect size. Addressing obesity and controlling body mass index (weight loss) may be important complementary interventions for pain management. Limitations of the study include not considering individuals who are underweight and the potential misclassification of individuals with high muscularity based on BMI.

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