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Prevalence of fibromyalgia in general population and patients, a systematic review and meta-analysis

A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to this article was published on 13 October 2017


This study aims to estimate the reliable prevalence of fibromyalgia using meta-analysis method. Available databanks were searched using appropriate keywords. According to the heterogeneity between the results (indicated by Cochrane and I square indices), random- or fixed-effects model was applied to combine the point prevalences. Meta-regression models were used to assess the suspected factors in the heterogeneity. In 65 selected papers, 81 evidences regarding prevalence of fibromyalgia among 3,609,810 subjects from general population and specific groups were investigated. The total prevalences (95% confidence intervals) of fibromyalgia among general population, women, men, patients referring to rheumatology and internal departments, patients with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemodialysis patients and those with type 2 diabetes mellitus were estimated as of 1.78% (1.65, 1.92), 3.98% (2.80, 5.20), 0.01% (−0.04, 0.06), 15.2% (13.6, 16.90), 12.9% (12.70, 13.10), 6.30% (4.60, 7.90) and 14.80% (11.10, 18.40), respectively. In addition, prevalence of fibromyalgia in specified groups varied from 3.90% in hemodialysis patients to 80% in patients suffering from Behcet syndrome. This meta-analysis showed that prevalence of fibromyalgia in general population was significantly lower than that in populations with some diseases.

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This study has been registered in the Ethics Committee of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences and supported by Research Deputy of this university (Project Number: 551). The authors would like to thank Research Deputy Coordinator of Mazandaran for kindly cooperation.

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FH and MM carried out the design, performed the literature searches of the study, screened titles, abstracted data, and performed data analysis. MA participated in provided of drafted the manuscript and helped to analysis the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mahmood Moosazadeh.

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Heidari, F., Afshari, M. & Moosazadeh, M. Prevalence of fibromyalgia in general population and patients, a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rheumatol Int 37, 1527–1539 (2017).

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  • Fibromyalgia
  • Prevalence
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review