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J Rheumatol. 2001 Mar;28(3):590-4.

Fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a cross sectional population survey.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Ostfold Central Hospital, Sarpsborg, Norway.



To assess the prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic widespread pain (CWP) in a population based cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Patients in a prospective survey on newly diagnosed IBD were, 5 years after study entry, invited to a clinical examination including the investigation of musculoskeletal manifestations. A total of 521 patients were examined, corresponding to 80% of surviving cases with definite diagnoses of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). The diagnoses of FM and CWP strictly followed the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria of 1990.


At clinical examination, FM was diagnosed in 18 patients (3.5%), 3.7% with UC and 3.0% with CD. The prevalence was 6.4% in females and 0.4% in males. Thirty-eight patients (7.3%) had CWP (8.5% with UC; 4.8% with CD). The female:male ratio was 27:3 in the UC group and 8:0 in CD. In 19 patients (50%), CWP occurred after onset of IBD. No correlation with the extent of intestinal inflammation and the occurrence of FM and CWP was found.


The prevalences of FM and CWP in patients with IBD were similar to those of the general population. There were no differences in prevalence of FM and CWP between UC and CD. Chronic idiopathic inflammation of the intestine does not appear to predispose to chronic widespread pain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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