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Fibromyalgia (FM) — a new cause for disability pension

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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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