Objectives: To the scarce information on dietary habits in fibromyalgia (FM), it is added that there are no comparative studies with other rheumatic diseases. The objective of this study was to characterise the dietary habits of patients with FM by comparing, for the first time, with healthy controls (HC) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: This cross-sectional, observational study was based on data obtained from the Dietfibrom project for FM and from the IMID Consortium for RA and HC. All participants completed a food frequency questionnaire evaluating their weekly dietary intake of main food groups. The three cohorts were compared using a multiple logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index.
Results: After quality control, n=287 FM, n=1,983 HC and n=1,942 RA patients were analysed. We found that FM had a profound impact in the diet compared to HC, reducing the consumption of dairy (OR=0.32, p<0.0001), bread and/or whole grain cereals (OR=0.59, p=0.0006), fresh fruit (OR=0.66, P=0.008), and fish (OR=0.64, p=0.002). These same four food groups were also significantly reduced in FM patients in comparison to RA patients (p<0.0005 in all cases). Additionally, a lower consumption of pasta, rice and/or potatoes was also observed in FM compared to RA (OR=0.72, p=0.028).
Conclusions: The present cross-sectional study shows that FM is associated to a significant change in the normal dietary patterns. These results underscore the importance of diet in this prevalent disease and are a warning of the potential long-range effects of a deficient nutritional status.