Fibromyalgia May Be Underdiagnosed, More So in Men

Patients meeting fibromyalgia research survey criteria found unlikely to receive diagnosis of fibromyalgia

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Fibromyalgia may be underdiagnosed in the general population, particularly in men, according to research published online Nov. 30 in Arthritis Care & Research.

To estimate the prevalence of fibromyalgia in Olmsted County, Minn., Ann Vincent, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used two methods: a review of medical records for 3,410 potential fibromyalgia patients to estimate diagnosed fibromyalgia in clinical practice, and a random mail survey for potential fibromyalgia in 830 respondents (27.6 percent) among 2,994 adults.

The researchers found that, using the first method, 1,115 patients had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, giving an age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed fibromyalgia of 1.1 percent. Using the second method, 44 adults met the criteria for fibromyalgia, giving an age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population of this county of 6.4 percent. Using the first method, the age-adjusted prevalence was significantly higher for women than men (2.00 versus 0.14 percent).

"Our results suggest that patients, particularly men, who meet the fibromyalgia research survey criteria are unlikely to have been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia," Vincent and colleagues conclude.

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