Suicide Risk, Accidental Death Increased in Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia patients not at increased risk for mortality but risk of suicide, accidents increased

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from fibromyalgia do not appear to be at increased risk for mortality, but the risk of death as a result of suicide and accidents is increased, according to a study in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Frederick Wolfe, M.D., from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, and colleagues studied 8,186 patients with fibromyalgia from 1974 to 2009, and 10,087 control patients with osteoarthritis to determine if mortality is increased among patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The three groups they examined were fibromyalgia patients from one clinical practice, patients participating in the U.S. National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases (NDB), and patients invited to participate in the NDB who refused.

The researchers found that there were 539 deaths with an overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 0.90. Among the 1,665 clinic patients, the SMR was 0.92. There was no increased risk of mortality seen among patients with fibromyalgia compared with those who had osteoarthritis. The standardized mortality for these patients was increased for suicide (odds ratio, 3.31) and for accidental deaths (odds ratio, 1.45), compared with the general population, but not for malignancy.

"The results of this study suggest that mortality is not increased in fibromyalgia," the authors write.

One study author disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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