Abstract: A case–control study examining the role of physical trauma in the onset of fibromyalgia syndrome

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Original Papers

A case–control study examining the role of physical trauma in the onset of fibromyalgia syndrome

A. W. Al-Allaf, K. L. Dunbar(1), N. S. Hallum1, B. Nosratzadeh1, K. D. Templeton(1) and T. Pullar. Rheumatic Disease Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY and (1) Medical School, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK.

Objective. To investigate whether physical trauma may precipitate the onset of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Design. A case–control study was carried out to compare fibromyalgia out-patients with controls attending non-rheumatology out-patient clinics.

Method. One hundred and thirty-six FMS patients and 152 age- and sex-matched controls completed a postal questionnaire about any physical trauma in the 6 months before the onset of their symptoms.

Results. Fifty-three (39%) FMS patients reported significant physical trauma in the 6 months before the onset of their disease, compared with only 36 (24%) of controls (P<0.007). There was no significant difference between FMS patients who had a history of physical trauma and those who did not have physical trauma with regard to age, sex, disease duration, employment status and whether their job at onset was manual.

Conclusion. Physical trauma in the preceding 6 months is significantly associated with the onset of FMS.

KEY WORDS: Fibromyalgia syndrome, Physical trauma, Occupation.

Correspondence to: A. W. Al-Allaf, University Department of Medicine, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK.

Rheumatology 2002; 41: 450-453

© 2002 British Society for Rheumatology

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