The prevalence & characteristics of fibromyalgia (FM) in the general population
January 2, 1995
OBJECTIVE. To determine the prevalence and characteristics of
fibromyalgia in the general population.
METHODS. A random
sample of 3,006 persons in Wichita, KS, were characterized
according to the presence of no pain, non-widespread pain, and
widespread pain. A subsample of 391 persons, including 193
with widespread pain, were examined and interviewed in detail.
RESULTS. The prevalence of fibromyalgia was 2.0% (95%
confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4, 2.7) for both sexes, 3.4%
(95% CI 2.3, 4.6) for women, and 0.5% (95% CI 0.0, 1.0) for
men. The prevalence of the syndrome increased with age, with
highest values attained between 60 and 79 years (> 7.0% in
women). Demographic, psychological, dolorimetry, and symptom
factors were associated with fibromyalgia.
CONCLUSION. Fibromyalgia is common in the population, and
occurs often in older persons. Characteristic features of
fibromyalgia--pain threshold and symptoms--are similar in
community and clinic populations, but overall severity, pain,
and functional disability are more severe in the clinic
Wolfe F, Ross K, Anderson J, Russell IJ, Hebert L