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Fibromyalgia (FM) -- a new cause for disability pension

  [ 31 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 3, 1993

Fibromyalgia is a condition under dispute. Accepted by some as a
major step forward in understanding some of the patients with
widespread muscular pain, looked upon as a confusing side step
by others. In 1988 fibromyalgia was by far the most frequent
single diagnosis as a reason for disability pension in Norway.
Disability statistics however show big differences between
counties. Two neighbouring counties had among the lowest and
the highest incidence of disability pensioners with the
diagnosis fibromyalgia. New pensioners with fibromyalgia and
some closely related diagnoses have been studied during the
year 1988 by means of reading the insurance records. It became
apparent that the difference between the two counties with
respect to the incidence of fibromyalgia as a cause of
disability pension could be explained by differences in
diagnostic setting by the doctors and difference in the
assessment from the insurance system, rather than real
differences in morbidity pattern. Complaints from the
musculoskeletal system is frequent and increasing in the
population both as a reason for sick leave and disability
pension. Whether this complicated and challenging situation is
made more easy to handle by defining a subgroup of those
persons as having "fibromyalgia" is questioned.

Bruusgaard D, Evensen AR, Bjerkedal T

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