Objective: To establish the prevalence of chronic widespread pain and associated symptoms in a general population sample.
Methods: Cross sectional postal survey of 2,034 adults in the north of England.
Results: The point prevalence of chronic widespread pain was 11.2%. The symptom was strongly associated with other somatic complaints and with measures of depression and anxiety.
Conclusion: In the general population, this cardinal symptom of fibromyalgia is common and identifies a group who are more likely also to report symptoms of fatigue and depression.