Familial aggregation in the fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome

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The authors studied the familial occurrence of fibromyalgia (FMS) to

determine a possible role of genetic and familial factors in

this syndrome. Fifty-eight offspring aged 5 to 46 years (35

males and 23 females) from 20 complete nuclear families

ascertained through affected mothers with FMS were clinically

evaluated for FMS according to the ACR 1990 diagnostic

criteria. FMS symptoms, quality of life, physical

functioning, and dolorimetry thresholds were assessed in all

subjects. Sixteen offspring (28%) were found to have FMS. The

M/F ratio among the affected was 0.8 compared with 1.5 in the

whole study group. Offspring with and without FMS did not

differ on anxiety, depression, global well-being, quality of

life, and physical functioning.

A high prevalence of FMS was observed among offspring of FMS mothers. Because psychological and familial factors were not different in children with and without FMS, the high familial occurrence of this syndrome may be attributable to genetic factors.

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