Rheumatology International

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 1415–1421 | Cite as

Association of antithyroid peroxidase antibody with fibromyalgia in rheumatoid arthritis

  • Jowairiyya Ahmad
  • Helena Blumen
  • Clement E. TagoeEmail author
Original Article - Food for Thought


To investigate how autoimmune thyroiditis (ATD) affects the clinical presentation of established rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with particular reference to fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain (CWP). A cohort of 204 patients with RA for whom the presence or absence of autoimmune thyroid antibodies was documented was examined for the relationships between thyroid autoantibodies and fibromyalgia or CWP. We identified 29 % who tested positive for antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb). The anti-thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) was found in 24 %. Among the thyroid autoantibody-positive patients, 40 % had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or CWP versus 17 % for antibody negative patients. Logistic regression analyses (adjusted by age, sex, diabetes and BMI) indicated that TPOAb-positive patients were more likely to have fibromyalgia or CWP, with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.641, 95 % confidence interval (CI) (2.110–10.207) P < .001. Adjusting for spinal degenerative disc disease did not change the association with fibromyalgia, OR 4.458, 95 % CI (1.950–10.191), P < .001. The OR between TgAb and fibromyalgia was not significant (P > .05). Additional logistic regression analyses (adjusted by age, sex and BMI) indicated a significant relationship between TPOAb and fibromyalgia or CWP in patients without diabetes and those without hypothyroidism (OR of 4.873, 95 % CI (1.877–12.653), P = .001 and OR of 4.615 95 % CI (1.810–11.770), P = .001, respectively). There may be a positive association between the ATD antibody TPOAb, and fibromyalgia syndrome and CWP in patients with established RA.


Autoimmune thyroid disease Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis Hashimoto thyroiditis Fibromyalgia Chronic widespread pain Rheumatoid arthritis 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jowairiyya Ahmad
    • 1
  • Helena Blumen
    • 2
  • Clement E. Tagoe
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Department of MedicineThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology, Department of MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  4. 4.Division of RheumatologyMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA

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