Fibromyalgia (FM) is a major contributor to quality of life in lupus

OBJECTIVE; To determine whether individual variables of the
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI)
and Systemic Lupus International Coordinating
Committee/American College of Rheumatology (SLICC/ACR) Damage
Index were associated with any of the domains of the Short
Form 36 (SF-36) quality of life measure, and to assess the
contribution of fibromyalgia (FM) to the quality of life

METHODS: Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus
(SLE) seen between December 1994 and May 1995 completed SF-36
questionnaires at the time of their clinical evaluations at
the Lupus Clinic. Disease activity was measured by SLEDAI,
damage was assessed by the SLICC/ACR Damage Index, and FM was
diagnosed in the presence of widespread pain and > or = 11 of
18 FM tender points. The components of SLEDAI and the Damage
Index were compared to the domains of the SF-36 using Pearson
correlation coefficients. A t test was used to compare the
variables in patients with and without FM.

RESULTS: One hundred nineteen patients with SLE participated in the
study. Presence of FM, which occurred in 21% of the patients, was not
related to either the overall scores or any of the components
of SLEDAI or Damage Index, but was highly correlated with all
8 domains of the SF-36. The correlations ranged from -0.26 to
-0.43, with associated p values of 0.007 to 0.0001.

CONCLUSION: In a cross sectional study of patients with SLE at
one point in time the SF-36 reflected the presence of FM
rather than disease activity or damage.

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