, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 362-368

Epidemiology of fibromyalgia

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Abstract

Chronic widespread pain, the cardinal symptom of fibromyalgia (FM), is common in the general population, with comparable prevalence rates of 7.3% to 12.9% across different countries. The prevalence of FM in the general population was reported to range from 0.5% to 5% and up to 15.7% in the clinic. The common association of FM with other rheumatic disorders, chronic viral infections, and systemic illnesses has been well documented in several studies. Up to 65% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus meet the criteria for FM. FM is considered a member of the family of functional somatic syndromes. These syndromes are very common and share a similar phenomenology, epidemiologic characteristics, high rates of occurrence, a common pathogenesis, and similar management strategies. A high prevalence of FM was demonstrated among relatives of patients with FM and it may be attributed to genetic and environmental factors.