Sleep Problem Severity Tied to Fibromyalgia Risk in Women

Sleep problem severity has dose-response link with fibromyalgia, especially in older women

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The severity of self-reported sleep problems in women has a significant dose-response association with their risk of developing fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome, with the association stronger among older and middle-aged women, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Paul J. Mork, D.Phil., and Tom I.L. Nilsen, D.Phil., from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues investigated the correlation between self-reported sleep problems and the risk of FM among 12,350 adult women, free of FM, musculoskeletal pain, and physical impairments at baseline (between 1984 and 1986). Adjusted relative risks (RRs) of FM were assessed at a follow-up in 1995 to 1997.

The investigators found that 327 women reported incident FM at follow-up. Sleep problems and the risk of FM had a significant dose-response association. Compared to women who never experienced sleep problems, those who often or always reported sleep problems had a significantly increased adjusted RR of 3.43. For women who often or always reported sleep problems, age stratified analysis revealed an adjusted RR of 5.41 for women aged 45 years or more, and a RR of 2.98 for women aged 20 to 44 years.

"This study provides evidence for a strong dose-response association between severity of sleep problems and risk of FM in adult women," the authors write.

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