Family History of Alcohol Use Disorder as a Predictor of Endogenous Pain Modulation Among Moderate to Heavy Drinkers

Kyle M. White, Lisa R. LaRowe, Jessica M. Powers, Michael B. Paladino, Stephen A. Maisto, Michael J. Zvolensky, Stephen J. Glatt, Joseph W. Ditre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is frequently endorsed by persons with chronic pain. Although individuals with a family history of AUD have demonstrated enhanced sensitivity to painful stimulation, previous research has not examined endogenous pain modulation in this population. The goal of this study was to test family history of AUD as a predictor of conditioned pain modulation, offset analgesia, and temporal summation among a sample of moderate and heavy drinkers. Adults with no current pain (N = 235; 58.3% male; Mage = 34.3; 91.9% non-Hispanic; 60% white) were evaluated for family history of AUD at baseline and pain modulatory outcomes were assessed via quantitative sensory testing. Participants with a family history of AUD (relative to those without) evinced a pro-nociceptive pain modulation profile in response to experimental pain. Specifically, family history of AUD was associated with deficits in pain-inhibitory processes. Approximately 4% of the variance in endogenous pain modulation was accounted for by family history, and exploratory analyses suggested these effects may be driven by paternal AUD. Perspective: The current findings suggest individuals with a family history of AUD demonstrate pain modulatory function that may predispose them to the development of chronic pain. Clinically, these data may inform pain management approaches for individuals with a family history of AUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-875
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Endogenous pain modulation
  • Family history
  • Quantitative sensory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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