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Prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) in children: a clinical study of Mexican children

  [ 69 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Clark P, Burgos-Vargas R, Medina-Palma C, Lavielle P, Marina FF • • October 2, 1998

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) in
schoolchildren according to the 2 stage classification process
proposed by the 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
Multicenter Criteria Committee on Fibromyalgia.

1: we administered a pain questionnaire to a sample of 548
schoolchildren (264 boys, 284 girls; mean age 11.9 yrs, range
9-15). Stage 2: two rheumatologists examined all children with
diffuse pain. Using thumb palpation, they examined 18
fibromyalgia tender points and 3 pairs of controls points
followed by dolorimetry. Additionally, a random sample of 79
children with no pain were selected as controls, following the
same procedures (thumb palpation and dolorimetry). The
Wilcoxon test was used to compare the distribution of
tenderness thresholds between FM and non-FM groups. Kappa
statistics for multiple raters was used to assess
interobserver agreement.

RESULTS: Seven children, all girls,
fulfilled the ACR diagnostic criteria for FM. Thus, the
prevalence of FM in this group of schoolchildren reached only
1.2%. The girls with FM had a mean of 14 tender points,
whereas controls (n = 79) had 2.4. Pain thresholds were 3.4 kg
in children with FM and 5.1 kg in controls (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of FM in our study was 5-fold lower
than a previous report. This variance may be due to (1) racial
and sociocultural differences between populations; and (2)
differences in methodological approach. The difficulties of
making accurate estimates of FM across different studies are

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