To test the gender differences in tenderness, impact of fibromyalgia, health-related quality of life, fatigue, sleep quality, mental health, cognitive performance, pain-cognition, and positive health in Spanish fibromyalgia patients and in age-matched non-fibromyalgia individuals from the same region. To test the optimal cut-off score of the different tender points for women and men.
A total of 405 (384 women) fibromyalgia versus 247 (195 women) non-fibromyalgia control participants from southern Spain (Andalusia) took part in this cross-sectional study. The outcomes studied were assessed by means of several tests.
In the fibromyalgia group, men showed better working memory than women (all, P < 0.01), whereas sleep latency was lower in women compared to men (P = 0.013). In the non-fibromyalgia group, men showed higher pain threshold in all the tender points (all, P < 0.01), except in right and left lateral epicondyle. Furthermore, men showed better working memory than women (all, P < 0.01), whereas memory performance was better in women compared to men (all, P ≤ 0.01).
The results of the present study do not support consistent evidence of gender differences in fibromyalgia-related symptoms. However, it seems that detriment of some symptoms (especially pain) in fibromyalgia men compared with their non-fibromyalgia counterparts is greater than those of fibromyalgia women compared with their non-fibromyalgia peers.
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Source: Segura-Jiménez V, Estévez-López F, Soriano-Maldonado A, Álvarez-Gallardo IC, Delgado-Fernández M, Ruiz JR, Aparicio VA. Gender Differences in Symptoms, Health-Related Quality of Life, Sleep Quality, Mental Health, Cognitive Performance, Pain-Cognition, and Positive Health in Spanish Fibromyalgia Individuals: The Al-Ándalus Project. Pain Res Manag. 2016; 2016:5135176. Epub 2016 Oct 27.