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Ethnocultural & educational differences in Israeli women correlate with pain perception in fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 54 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Neumann L, Buskila D • www.ProHealth.com • July 10, 1998


OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical features of patients with
fibromyalgia (FM) in 2 ethnic groups in Israel.

METHODS: One
hundred women with FM participated in the study; 70 were of
Sephardic (Mediterranean) origin and 30 of Ashkenazic
(European-American) origin. Assessment of FM related symptoms,
tenderness, quality of life, and physical functioning was
conducted in all subjects. Analysis of covariance and
multivariate regression were performed to study the
association between these measures and ethnicity, controlling
for age and education.

RESULTS: Sephardic patients with FM
reported more frequent and more severe symptoms than
Ashkenazic patients. They had higher point counts and
decreased quality of life. When the patients were divided into
2 age groups (age 45 being the cutoff point), the differences
were observed only among the older subjects, most of whom were
immigrants. Sephardic older patients had significantly higher
point counts than Ashkenazic patients, and lower tenderness
thresholds. They reported significantly higher levels of pain,
fatigue, and stiffness, and were less satisfied with their
life. However, these differences observed between the 2 ethnic
groups in the univariate data analysis disappeared when age
and education were jointly controlled in multivariate
regression analysis. Age had significantly contributed to the
variation in the point count, the reported pain, and physical
functioning. Education made a significant contribution in
explaining the point count, quality of life, pain, and
fatigue.

CONCLUSION: Education, rather than ethnic identity,
has been found to be an important factor in clinical features
of FM. Future studies should include ethnocultural and
educational assessment, especially in countries with high
immigration rates and diverse ethnic groups, such as the USA
and Canada.




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