What is the international prevalence of fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Using data from 5 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain), Branco et al estimated the prevalence of fibromyalgia in Europe at 4.7%. [81] Prevalence was estimated to be 5.8% in women and 3.5% in men. However, this estimate used the London Fibromyalgia Epidemiological Study Screening Questionnaire (LFESSQ), a nonstandard method of identifying fibromyalgia patients. Another study using the LFESSQ estimated the prevalence of fibromyalgia in Tunisia at least at 8.3%. [82]

White et al estimated the prevalence of fibromyalgia at 3.3% in Ontario, Canada (4.9% women vs 1.6% men). [83] However, this estimate was derived using the 1990 ACR classification criteria, [9] so it is likely this estimate is low, particularly in the male population.

The prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population of Brazil has been estimated at 4.5%. [84] A similar Brazilian study in the elderly population estimated the prevalence at 5.5%. [85] Interestingly, all fibromyalgia patients identified in both Brazilian studies were female, despite a large percentage of male participants. Since both studies used the 1990 ACR classification criteria, it is likely the number of both male and female patients were underestimated.


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