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.