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Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Dec;27(12):1543-7. doi: 10.1007/s10067-008-0966-1. Epub 2008 Jul 12.

A cross-sectional study of the relationship between body mass index and clinical characteristics, tenderness measures, quality of life, and physical functioning in fibromyalgia patients.

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  • 1Epidemiology Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel.


We examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and measures of tenderness, quality of life, and physical functioning in female fibromyalgia (FMS) patients. A random sample of 100 female FMS patients from a database of 550 FMS individuals was interviewed and assessed according to a structured questionnaire that included FMS-related symptoms, measures of tenderness (point count and dolorimetry), quality of life (SF-36), physical functioning, and BMI. Weight was defined as normal, overweight, and obesity according to BMI. Twenty-seven percent of the FMS patients had normal BMI, 28% were overweight, and 45% were obese. BMI was negatively correlated with quality of life (r = -0.205, P = 0.044) and tenderness threshold (r = -0.238, P = 0.021) and positively correlated with physical dysfunctioning (r = 0.202, P = 0.047) and point count (r = 0.261, P = 0.011). Obese FMS patients display higher pain sensitivity and lower levels of quality of life. In designing studies that explore factors affecting tenderness, BMI should be included in addition to sex, age, etc.

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