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Women's Health Issues with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

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By JL Shaver, et al • www.ProHealth.com • December 6, 2006


Journal: Journal of Women’s Health. 2006 Nov;15(9):1035-45. Authors and affiliations: Shaver JL, Wilbur J, Robinson FP, Wang E, Buntin MS. University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. PMID: 17125422

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) involves multiple sensory, somatic, and cognitive symptoms that are bound to affect or be affected by physical and mental health status and behavioral components of daily life.

Methods: From a telephone survey of 442 women with and 205 women without FMS as volunteers, data were compared on (1) general health status, (2) reproductive and sleep-related diagnoses, and (3) lifestyle health behaviors.

Results: All multiple or logistics regression analyses for group differences were controlled for age, body mass index (BMI), race, employment status, marital status, having a college degree, low household income, and having ever been diagnosed with depression, with a Bonferroni p value correction for multiple indicators. Accordingly, FMS negatively impacted both perceived physical and mental health status, although relatively more so for physical (p < 0.017). Women with FMS were more likely to have had reproductive health or sleep-related diagnoses, including premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, breast cysts, bladder cystitis, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and abnormal leg movements (p < 0.0125). They were calculated to use less than half as many calories per week as control women (689 +/- 1293 vs. 1499 +/- 1584 kcal/week, p < 0.05) and had more sleep pattern difficulties (p < 0.0125), more negative changes in sexual function (greater odds for 5 of 10 indicators at p < 0.005), and lower alcohol use (odds ratio = 0.39, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Patients with FMS deserve careful assessment for reproductive conditions and sleep-related functional disorders. Besides more research into mechanisms underlying symptoms, intervention testing specifically to alleviate sleep problems, low physical activity levels, and sexual dysfunction should be paramount.



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