This study aimed to clarify whether there are shared genetic and/or environmental factors explaining the strong link between pain catastrophizing (PC) and chronic widespread pain (CWP). Data were available for N = 1,109 female twins from TwinsUK. Information on self-reported CWP and PC was subject to variance component twin analysis. Heritabilities were 40% for PC and 77% for CWP. The genetic correlation between PC and CWP was.40%, whereas no evidence of an environmental correlation could be detected (.0). According to the best-fitting additive genetic, non-shared environmental (AE) Cholesky model, an additive genetic factor loading on PC as well as CWP, as well as an additive genetic factor loading on CWP alone was found. In terms of environmental influences, 2 individual environmental factors could be identified, loading separately on PC and CWP. Overall, the results add to the knowledge on the nature of CWP and the basis of its close relationship with PC by suggesting a shared genetic etiological structure. The findings highlight a potential avenue for future research and may provide useful insight for the clinical management of pain and pain coping. Perspective Results suggest a shared genetic etiological structure between CWP and PC with no shared influence of environmental factors. Clinicians should be aware of this biological link within the context of clinical management of pain and pain coping.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine