Chapter

Educationand the Prevalence of Pain

Steven J. Atlas and Jonathan Skinner

in Research Findings in the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226903064
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903088 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226903088.003.0007
Educationand the Prevalence of Pain

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This chapter begins by documenting the dramatic differences across educational groups in the prevalence of pain. The chapter finds significant differences across educational groups, with rates of people aged 55 to 59 troubled by pain ranging from 26 percent for women with a college education to 55 percent for those without a high school diploma. The prevalence of pain declined with age. One might think that these differences result from those with lower education being more likely to have worked in manual jobs, or to experience other types of health impairments. The strong association between education and pain in the survey data and the clinical data are supportive of the view that educational attainment has an independent association with the neurological mediators of pain, or for social or even economic factors that may be associated with the perception of pain.

Keywords: education; pain; college; neurology; health

Chapter.  8956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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