Higher Disease Burden for Patients With Fibromyalgia

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Higher Disease Burden for Patients With Fibromyalgia
Higher Disease Burden for Patients With Fibromyalgia

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) have a higher disease burden than those with chronic widespread pain (CWP), according to research published online May 16 in Pain Practice.

Caroline Schaefer, M.B.A., from Covance Market Access Services in Gaithersburg, Md., and colleagues conducted an online screening survey of 472 geographically diverse participants to assess CWP status and characterize the disease burden. The authors identified mutually exclusive groups of subjects without CWP (CWP−), CWP but without FM (CWP+), and confirmed FM.

The researchers found that among the participants (125 CWP−, 176 CWP+, and 171 FM), mean body mass index and number of comorbidities increased from CWP− to CWP+ to FM (P = 0.0044 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Similarly, there were reductions in health status and sleep outcomes (all P < 0.05) from CWP− to CWP+ to FM. There were also increases in pain severity, interference with function, and overall work impairment from CWP− to CWP+ to FM (all P < 0.0001). There were significant differences in total direct and indirect costs across the three groups (both P < 0.0001), with highest costs among FM subjects.

"Fibromyalgia subjects were characterized by the greatest disease burden with more comorbidities and pain-related medications, poorer health status, function, sleep, lower productivity, and higher costs," the authors write.

The study was funded by Pfizer; several authors disclosed financial ties to the company.

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