Health differences between men and women are determined by biological differences although health services often contribute to gender inequalities. Very few studies that analyze gender differences have been made up to date in these patients.
This study aims to analyze sociodemographic, clinical and psychosocial differences between men and women diagnosed with FM and to examine the differential impact of their symptoms on their usual activities, including work environment, and the response these patients obtain from the health care system.
Material and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out with all the patients diagnosed with FM in 2003 in three clinics rheumatology units of a university hospital in Spain.
Results: The sociodemographic characteristics were very similar in men and women.
However, there was a greater proportion of men diagnosed with FM on sick leave, compared to women with the same diagnosis.
Men had a worse perception of their health, a higher percentage of psychiatric history and current mental illness, and more impact of the disease.
Discussion: This is one of the first studies in Spain examining the differences between men and women diagnosed with FM. The results obtained in this study corroborate that, as in other diseases, there are gender differences in the clinical and psychosocial characteristics of men and women diagnosed with FM.
Source: Revista Clinica Espanola. 2007 Oct;207(9):433-9. PMID: 17915163, by Ruiz Perez I, Ubago Linares MC, Bermejo Perez MJ, Plazaola Castaño J, Olry de Labry-Lima A, Hernandez Torres E. Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, Spain. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]