Diagnostic associations with hypermobility in rheumatology patients

Although we have considerable knowledge of the demographic
characteristics of hypermobile individuals in population
studies, we have little understanding of the implications of
hypermobility. In this rheumatology clinic-based study we
assessed the prevalence, diagnostic associations and clinical
features of hypermobility in consecutive newly referred
patients.

Hypermobility was identified in 50 of 378 patients
(13.2%). The most common clinical diagnosis in the hypermobile
patients, compared with controls (those without
hypermobility), was soft tissue rheumatism observed in 67% vs
25% (P<0.001). Fibromyalgia syndrome was the common specific
rheumatological diagnosis in 30% vs 8% (P<0.001) and
inflammatory arthritis the least common diagnosis in 4% vs 32%
(P<0.001) of hypermobile versus non-hypermobile patients,
respectively. Hypermobile patients complained of previous
pain, including widespread or multiple localized sites of pain
and spinal pain. Although clinic-based studies may not
accurately reflect disease patterns as seen in the population,
these results suggest an association between hypermobility and
soft tissue rheumatic complaints and should be useful to the
clinical rheumatologist.
EM- 9608

Hudson N, Starr MR, Esdaile JM, Fitzcharles MA

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