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Fibromyalgia In Women With Ankylosing Spondylitis

Posted on: 08/6/07

A study published in the journal, Rheumatology International, examined the topic of fibromyalgia (FM) in women with AS. The association between the two diseases is unknown, but it was suggested by Dr. Robert D. Inman that FM may be secondary to AS and could be caused by the lack of restorative sleep.

We have also heard anecdotally on our message boards about a number of people who were diagnosed with both AS and FM. Here is a sampling of threads:

The study itself found that fibromyalgia occurs more often in women (50% of the women in the study were diagnosed with FM) and that the presence of FM was also associated with more pain and discomfort according to disease activity indices (BASDAI and BASFI). The authors of the study acknowledge, though, that the presence of FM could make it harder to evaluate AS disease activity.

The National Fibromyalgia Foundation states on their website, fmaware.org, that "the underlying cause or causes of FM still remain a mystery," and they estimate that, "approximately 3-6% of the U.S. population has FM. Although a higher percentage of women of all ages and races are affected, it does strike men and children."

It should also be noted that the FDA has recently approved the first drug for treating FM: Lyrica (pregabalin).

References: Rheumatology International, Volume 27, Number 9, July 2007 , pp. 865-868(4)


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