Objective: To compare the risk of falls in fibromyalgia (FM) patients compared to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and normal controls.
Methods: We studied 60 FM, 60 RA patients and 60 controls for fall frequency in one week, one month, six months and one year. Patients were submitted to body mass index determination and balance evaluation through the Berg scale. Data on disease impact and depression were collected in FM patients through the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Beck Questionnaire.
Results: FM patients had a higher frequency of falls than RA patients and control individuals in one month (p<0.0001), in six months (p<0.0001) and in one year (p<0.0001). No relationship was found between falls and body mass index, pain or depression scores. Falls in 12 months were associated with higher FIQ values.
Conclusion: FM patients fall more often than RA patients and control individuals.
Keywords: Accidental falls; Fibromyalgia; Postural balance.