Fibromyalgia and Obesity

The Association Between Body Mass Index and Disability, Depression, History of Abuse, Medications, and Comorbidities

Carmen E. Gota, MD; Sahar Kaouk; William S. Wilke, MD


J Clin Rheumatol. 2015;21(6):289-295. 

In This Article


We report (1) no impact of increasing BMI on an extensive list of FM symptoms and measures including meeting the ACR 1990 diagnostic criteria, survey criteria, SIS scores, FIQ score, and subsets; (2) that in FM patients, similar to the general population, increasing BMI is associated with higher disability, higher depression scores, higher prevalence of reported abuse, less ability to perform aerobic exercise, more medical comorbidities and musculoskeletal surgeries; and a higher number of prescriptions for FM medication; (3) that these findings suggest that the effect of increasing BMI on FM is reflected best on general outcome measures such as HAQ-DI, rather than on FM core process variables such as FIQ, survey criteria, or the ACR 1990 diagnostic criteria, possibly through a nonspecific additive effect; (4) that we confirm that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is high in FM and believe that physicians treating FM should be aware of our bivariate linear correlations and discuss weight loss with their FM patients. Even if increasing BMI is not intrinsic to FM, it contributes to poor mood and functional outcome and should be a treatment goal.