Long-Term Assessment of Fibromyalgia in Patients with Culture-Confirmed Lyme Disease

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Mar;67(3):837-839. doi: 10.1002/art.38972. Epub 2014 Dec 2.


Background: Fibromyalgia occurs in 2% to 8% of the general population. One of the triggers may be Lyme disease. Methods: Patients with culture-confirmed Lyme disease who originally presented with erythema migrans have been evaluated annually in a prospective study to determine their long-term outcome. In 2011-2013, subjects were evaluated for fibromyalgia by interview and tender point examination. Results: 100 subjects were assessed, 52% of whom were male; the mean age was 64.9 years (median 64 years, range 42-86 years). The mean duration of follow-up was 15.4 years (median 16 years, range 11-20 years). At least twenty-four (24%) subjects had experienced a second episode of erythema migrans before the evaluation for fibromyalgia. One patient (1%, 95% C.I.: 0.025 to 5.4%) met criteria for fibromyalgia. The symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia began more than 19 years after Lyme disease was diagnosed. Conclusions: Fibromyalgia was observed in only 1% of 100 patients with culture-confirmed early Lyme disease, a frequency consistent with that found for the general population. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.