Men with fibromyalgia often go undiagnosed, Mayo Clinic study suggests

December 19, 2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Fibromyalgia is a complex illness to diagnose and to treat. There is not yet a diagnostic test to establish that someone has it, there is no cure and many fibromyalgia symptoms -- pain, fatigue, problems sleeping and memory and mood issues -- can overlap with or get mistaken for other conditions. A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that many people who have fibromyalgia, especially men, are going undiagnosed. The findings appear in the online edition of the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

More research is needed, particularly on why men who reported fibromyalgia symptoms were less likely than women to receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis, says lead author Ann Vincent, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic's Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic.

"Health care providers may not think of this diagnosis when face to face with a male patient with musculoskeletal pain and fatigue," Dr. Vincent says. "These findings need to be explored further."

Researchers focused on Olmsted County, Minn., home to a comprehensive medical records pool known as the Rochester Epidemiology Project, and used multiple methods to try to get at the number of people over age 21 with fibromyalgia.

They used the epidemiology project to identify just over 3,000 patients who looked like they might have fibromyalgia: Roughly a third had a documented fibromyalgia diagnosis. That amounted to 1.1 percent of the county's population 21 and older.

In the second method, researchers randomly surveyed Olmsted County adults using the American College of Rheumatology's fibromyalgia research survey criteria. The criteria include the hallmarks of fibromyalgia: widespread pain and tenderness, fatigue, feeling unrested after waking, problems with memory or thinking clearly and depression or anxiety, among other symptoms. Of the 830 who responded to the survey, 44, or 5.3 percent, met those criteria, but only a dozen had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Based on the study's findings, the researchers estimate that 6.4 percent of people 21 and older in Olmsted County have fibromyalgia -- far more than have been officially diagnosed with it.

Fibromyalgia is more common in women, but men can get it too. The discrepancy between the number of people reporting fibromyalgia symptoms and the number actually diagnosed with the condition was greatest among men, the study found. Twenty times more men appeared to have fibromyalgia based on their survey response than had been diagnosed, while three times more women reported fibromyalgia symptoms than were diagnosed.

"It is important to diagnose fibromyalgia because we have effective treatments for the disorder," says co-author Daniel Clauw, M.D., director of the University of Michigan Health System Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center.

Studies also show that properly diagnosing people with fibromyalgia reduces health care costs, because they often need far less diagnostic testing and fewer referrals looking for the cause of their pain, Dr. Clauw says.
-end-
The study was supported by National Institute on Aging award R01AG034676 and by the Mayo Clinic Center for Translational Science Activities; the center is funded in part by National Institutes of Health grant RR024150.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news.

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rst/7221.html

Contact:

Sharon Theimer
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu

Mayo Clinic

Related Memory Articles from Brightsurf:

Memory of the Venus flytrap
In a study to be published in Nature Plants, a graduate student Mr.

Memory protein
When UC Santa Barbara materials scientist Omar Saleh and graduate student Ian Morgan sought to understand the mechanical behaviors of disordered proteins in the lab, they expected that after being stretched, one particular model protein would snap back instantaneously, like a rubber band.

Previously claimed memory boosting font 'Sans Forgetica' does not actually boost memory
It was previously claimed that the font Sans Forgetica could enhance people's memory for information, however researchers from the University of Warwick and the University of Waikato, New Zealand, have found after carrying out numerous experiments that the font does not enhance memory.

Memory boost with just one look
HRL Laboratories, LLC, researchers have published results showing that targeted transcranial electrical stimulation during slow-wave sleep can improve metamemories of specific episodes by 20% after only one viewing of the episode, compared to controls.

VR is not suited to visual memory?!
Toyohashi university of technology researcher and a research team at Tokyo Denki University have found that virtual reality (VR) may interfere with visual memory.

The genetic signature of memory
Despite their importance in memory, the human cortex and subcortex display a distinct collection of 'gene signatures.' The work recently published in eNeuro increases our understanding of how the brain creates memories and identifies potential genes for further investigation.

How long does memory last? For shape memory alloys, the longer the better
Scientists captured live action details of the phase transitions of shape memory alloys, giving them a better idea how to improve their properties for applications.

A NEAT discovery about memory
UAB researchers say over expression of NEAT1, an noncoding RNA, appears to diminish the ability of older brains to form memories.

Molecular memory can be used to increase the memory capacity of hard disks
Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä have taken part in an international British-Finnish-Chinese collaboration where the first molecule capable of remembering the direction of a magnetic above liquid nitrogen temperatures has been prepared and characterized.

Memory transferred between snails
Memories can be transferred between organisms by extracting ribonucleic acid (RNA) from a trained animal and injecting it into an untrained animal, as demonstrated in a study of sea snails published in eNeuro.

Read More: Memory News and Memory Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.