The Prevalence and Characteristics of Fibromyalgia in the General Population

Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Jan;38(1):19-28. doi: 10.1002/art.1780380104.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgia in the general population.

Methods: A random sample of 3,006 persons in Wichita, KS, were characterized according to the presence of no pain, non-widespread pain, and widespread pain. A subsample of 391 persons, including 193 with widespread pain, were examined and interviewed in detail.

Results: The prevalence of fibromyalgia was 2.0% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4, 2.7) for both sexes, 3.4% (95% CI 2.3, 4.6) for women, and 0.5% (95% CI 0.0, 1.0) for men. The prevalence of the syndrome increased with age, with highest values attained between 60 and 79 years (> 7.0% in women). Demographic, psychological, dolorimetry, and symptom factors were associated with fibromyalgia.

Conclusion: Fibromyalgia is common in the population, and occurs often in older persons. Characteristic features of fibromyalgia--pain threshold and symptoms--are similar in community and clinic populations, but overall severity, pain, and functional disability are more severe in the clinic population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Community Health Services
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology*
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Kansas / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Prevalence