Abstract: Work stress and incidence of newly diagnosed fibromyalgia; Prospective cohort study

J Psychosom Res. 2004 Nov;57(5):417-22. Kivimaki M, Leino-Arjas P, Virtanen M, Elovainio M, Keltikangas-Jarvinen L, Puttonen S, Vartia M, Brunner E, Vahtera J. Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland.

OBJECTIVES: We examined the prospective association between occupational stress and incidence of newly diagnosed fibromyalgia.

METHODS: Cohort study with questionnaire surveys in 1998 and 2000 completed by 4791 hospital employees (4250 women and 541 men). Stress, as indicated by high workload, low decision latitude, and being a victim of workplace bullying, was assessed in the first survey. Incident cases (n=47) were employees reporting physician-diagnosed fibromyalgia in 2000 but not in 1998. Covariates were sex, age, income, obesity, and smoking.

RESULTS: After adjustment for covariates, the odds ratio of incident diagnosed fibromyalgia for workplace bullying was 4.1 (95% CI 2.0-9.6). The corresponding odds ratios for high workload and low decision latitude were 2.1 (1.2-3.9) and 2.1 (1.1-4.0), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Stress seems to be a contributing factor in the development of fibromyalgia, but further research is needed to examine whether stress perceptions are affected by undiagnosed fibromyalgia. PMID: 15581643 [PubMed – in process]

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