Greater mechanical temporal summation of pain in Latinx-Americans and the role of adverse life experiences. Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION: Adverse life experiences disproportionately impact Latinx-Americans and are related to greater chronic pain rates. However, little is known about how adversities interact with central pain mechanisms for the development of later pain among Latinx-Americans. OBJECTIVES: The current study examined the relationship between adverse life experiences (eg, trauma and ethnic discrimination) and correlates (eg, social status) with mechanical temporal summation of pain (a proxy measure of central sensitization) between pain-free U.S. native Latinx (n = 65) and non-Hispanic White (NHW) (n = 51) adults. METHODS: Participants completed self-report adverse life experience and correlational measures regarding childhood and adulthood and a mechanical temporal summation protocol. RESULTS: Relative to NHWs, Latinx-Americans reported experiencing significantly greater trauma, discrimination, and lower social status during childhood and adulthood, along with greater temporal summation. Contrary to hypotheses, recent and lifetime experiences of ethnic discrimination significantly correlated with less temporal summation among Latinx-Americans. Decreases in objective and subjective social status across the lifespan (childhood to present day) correlated with greater temporal summation for Latinx-Americans. However, r-to-z transformation analyses confirmed that significant adversity and social status correlations observed among the Latinx group did not significantly differ from NHW participants. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings highlight the complex association between adverse experiences, adverse experience risk factors, and pain for Latinx-Americans. Given the disproportion of experienced pain and adversity among Latinx-Americans, the current findings suggest that a better understanding of the unique adversities for this sample may help elucidate the mechanisms underlying the relationship between adversities, adversity correlates, and pain risk for Latinx-Americans.

published proceedings

  • Pain Rep

altmetric score

  • 6.3

author list (cited authors)

  • Rassu, F. S., Luedke, J. C., Nanavaty, N., Mathur, V. A., & Meagher, M. W.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Rassu, Fenan S||Luedke, Jessica C||Nanavaty, Namrata||Mathur, Vani A||Meagher, Mary W

publication date

  • September 2020