Editor's Note: Valentine's Day is the "holiday of the heart." This research study emphasizes the importance of considering the physical heart when living with fibromyalgia.
Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
Chronic cardiac failure (CCF) shares several clinical features with fibromyalgia (FM), a syndrome of increased central sensitivity and musculoskeletal pain. FM frequently coexists with other chronic illness. Musculoskeletal pain is reported in patients with CCF; however, the prevalence and impact of FM in patients with CCF is not known. This research aims to assess the prevalence and effects of concurrent FM in patients with CCF and to identify other coexisting central sensitivity syndromes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
In a cross-sectional study, demographic, clinical, and functional information was gathered from participants with CCF from public and private clinics. Cardiac failure severity was rated using the New York Heart Association (NYHA) scale. FM diagnosis was determined using 2011 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. The short-form 36 (SF-36) assessed overall health function.
Of the 57 CCF participants (63.2% male, mean age 70.3 years), 22.8% (n=13) met FM diagnostic criteria. CCF patients with FM had poorer outcomes across multiple SF-36 domains (p<0.05), compared to those without, despite having comparable CCF severity. Those with FM were more likely to report other central sensitivity syndromes, especially temporomandibular joint dysfunction (mean Δ=23%, p<0.05), headache (mean Δ=28.8%, p<0.05), and irritable bladder (mean Δ=14%, p<0.05).
High prevalence of FM was found in patients with CCF. This was associated with increased likelihood of other comorbid central sensitivity syndromes and with poorer clinical outcomes. The recognition of coexisting FM in patients with CCF provides an important opportunity to improve health outcomes by managing FM-related symptoms, in addition to symptoms that relate specifically to CCF.
Full text available here.
Gist AC, Guymer EK, Ajani AE, Littlejohn GO. Fibromyalgia has a high prevalence and impact in cardiac failure patients. Eur J Rheumatol. 2017 Dec;4(4):245-249. doi: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17026. Epub 2017 Nov 2.