The prevalence & characteristics of fibromyalgia (FM) in the general population

OBJECTIVE. To determine the prevalence and characteristics of
fibromyalgia in the general population.

METHODS. A random
sample of 3,006 persons in Wichita, KS, were characterized
according to the presence of no pain, non-widespread pain, and
widespread pain. A subsample of 391 persons, including 193
with widespread pain, were examined and interviewed in detail.

RESULTS. The prevalence of fibromyalgia was 2.0% (95%
confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4, 2.7) for both sexes, 3.4%
(95% CI 2.3, 4.6) for women, and 0.5% (95% CI 0.0, 1.0) for
men. The prevalence of the syndrome increased with age, with
highest values attained between 60 and 79 years (> 7.0% in
women). Demographic, psychological, dolorimetry, and symptom
factors were associated with fibromyalgia.

CONCLUSION. Fibromyalgia is common in the population, and
occurs often in older persons. Characteristic features of
fibromyalgia–pain threshold and symptoms–are similar in
community and clinic populations, but overall severity, pain,
and functional disability are more severe in the clinic
population.

Wolfe F, Ross K, Anderson J, Russell IJ, Hebert L

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