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Fibromyalgia in diabetes mellitus

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM).


The study included 100 consecutive unselected patients with DM attending our diabetes clinic. Patients were divided into two groups: 45 patients with type 1 diabetes and 55 patients with type 2 diabetes. A group of 50 healthy hospital staff members served as controls. The FM was diagnosed according to the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria. Counts of 18 tender points were performed by thumb palpation and assessed by dolorimeter. Routine biochemical tests and levels of HbA1c were recorded in each patient.


The main outcome measure was the association of FM with DM. Fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 17 patients (17%) with DM and in only one (2%) healthy control (P=0.008). No differences in patients were noted in the prevalence of FM between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (18.5% vs 15.5%, respectively). Patients with both FM and DM had significantly higher levels of HbA1c than DM patients without FM (9.2±1.1% vs 6.4±1.5%) (P<0.05). Similarly, the numbers of tender points, pain scores, and the prevalence of sleep disturbances, fatigue, and headaches were higher in this group of patients. A significant correlation was observed between the numbers of tender points and HbA1c levels in the DM patients with FM (r=0.72, P=0.027).


Fibromyalgia is a common finding in patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes, and its prevalence could be related to control of the disease. As with other diabetes complications, FM might be prevented by improved control of blood glucose levels.

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Correspondence to Moshe Tishler.

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Tishler, M., Smorodin, T., Vazina-Amit, M. et al. Fibromyalgia in diabetes mellitus. Rheumatol Int 23, 171–173 (2003).

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