Increased frequencies of hysterectomy and early menopause in fibromyalgia patients [vs. RA patients]: A comparative study – Source: Clinical Rheumatology, Jan 24, 2009

The objective was to determine the relationship between symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) and early menopause and hysterectomy. We included 115 postmenopausal patients with FM (mean age 54.6 +/- 7.6) and 67 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients (mean age 55.5 +/- 9) into our study.

All patients were questioned about the severity of their symptoms of FM, anxiety, and depression by using a visual analog scale and FM impact questionnaire. Patients’ history of menopause and hysterectomy were recorded. Menopause (age 45 or before) was accepted to be early.

The frequencies of early menopause (38.3% vs. 13.4%, p = 0.001) and hysterectomy (16.5% vs. 6%, p = 0.039) in FM patients were significantly higher than in RA patients.

While chronic widespread pain and other FM-related symptoms started after menopause in 58.3% of FM patients, the disease started after menopause in 64.2% of RA patients (p > 0.05). FM-related symptoms started in 30 patients (26.1%) with FM with menopause or within the first postmenopausal year.

When the clinical features of FM patients whose symptoms started within the first menopausal year were compared to other FM patients; it was observed that the frequency of early menopause was higher in [those with pain starting in first menopausal year] (p = 0.048).

Duke anxiety and depression score was higher in patients with hysterectomy whose FM symptoms started within the first year of post-hysterectomy than other FM patients (9.1 +/- 2.7 vs. 6.7 +/- 2.7, p = 0.022).

Early menopause and hysterectomy may be one of the factors contributing to the development of FM.

Source: Clinical Rheumatology, Jan 24, 2009. E-pub ahead of print. PMID: 19169621, Pamuk ON, Dönmez S, Cakir N. Department of Rheumatology, Trakya University Medical Faculty, Edirne, Turkey. [E-mail:]

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