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Men and women who've had limb amputations report similar levels of pain severity, but there are major gender differences in emotional health and pain-coping responses, states a recently published study in the January issue of the Journal of Pain.

Pain due to a lost limb can be phantom limb pain or residual limb pain, which originates at the amputation site or stump. There were no significant gender differences in the presence or intensity of amputation-related pain, but female patients reported greater overall pain intensity, more anxiety about their pain and also were more likely to report that their pain interfered with their daily activities, the study authors noted.

The findings suggest that women may be more vulnerable to the negative functional consequences of limb loss pain, according to the University of Washington School of Medicine researchers. They also said women who've suffered the loss of a limb may suffer more psychological problems than men.

Learning more about how limb loss affects women and men differently can help doctors better manage patients' pain and negative mood following amputation, the researchers concluded.

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