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Widespread Pain and Fibromyalgia in a Biracial Cohort of Young Women

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By SA Gansky and O Plesh • • February 21, 2007

Journal: Journal of Rheumatology. 2007 Feb 1. [E-publication ahead of print]

Authors and affiliation: Gansky SA, Plesh O. Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, Center for Health and Community, University of California - San Francisco, San Francisco,California.

PMID: 17299839

Objective: To assess the distribution of widespread pain, tender points (TP), and Fibromyalgia (FM) in young African American (AA) and Caucasian (C) women.

Methods: A community population of 1334 young (21-26 yrs old) women (684 African American and 650 Caucasian) was surveyed and classified for body pain spread [chronic widespread pain (CWP), axial regional chronic pain (RCP), nonaxial RCP, or no pain]. Of these women, 553 were examined for tender points, based on American College of Rheumatology criteria.

n Overall, 5.6% reported chronic widespread pain, while 22% reported axial regional chronic pain, and 16% reported nonaxial regional chronic pain.
n From the chronic widespread pain group, 57% were confirmed as FM cases.
n Caucasian women had significantly more tender points and greater tender point pain score than African-American women (p <= 0.005).
n Overall FM prevalence was 2.4% (95% confidence interval: 1.7-3.5%)
n With 3.0% overall FM prevalence in African-American and 2.0% in Caucasian women.
n Increase in body pain and tenderness was significantly associated with decreased subjective socioeconomic status (SSS), worse self-reported health, greater impact of premenstrual symptoms on activities, and greater depressive symptoms.
n The effect of depressive symptoms on pain differed by race.

n Widespread pain and tenderness is highly prevalent in these young women.
n Racial differences seem to exist.
n Caucasian women had significantly increased tenderness while African-American women had more widespread pain.
n The association of depressive symptoms and pain was stronger in African-American women.
n Racial differences emerged relatively early in these young women.

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