Do redheads feel more pain?

The Australian study looked at whether natural hair colour affected anaesthetic requirements and recovery time after surgery.

It was prompted by previous research that suggested redheads were less sensitive to general anaesthetics and may feel more pain due to variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MCR1) gene.

“The implications of this could be quite important because it suggests redheads may be at a greater risk of waking up during surgery, as well as waking up after surgery too quickly and in pain,” said lead author Professor Paul Myles.

His study involved 468 adults receiving an

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