A population study of the incidence of fibromyalgia (FM) among women aged 26-55 yr

In a population survey, we assessed the incidence of fibromyalgia
(FM) among females. A screening questionnaire about pain was
distributed twice (in 1990 and 1995) to 2498 females aged
20-49 yr, living in South Norway. A positive answer classified
the responder as positive, merely negative answers as
negative. One hundred females converting from negative to
positive responders and 100 females remaining negative
responders (controls) underwent a structural interview and
examination for tender points (TP). Of the 870 negative
responders in 1990, 717 answered the questionnaire in 1995. Of
these, 523 were still negative responders, while 194 were
positive converters. Twelve of the converters developed FM and
none of the controls. The calculated annual incidence of FM in
females was 583/100,000. This rather high incidence is most
likely explained by the design of the study, also detecting
cases usually not seen in hospital settings.

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