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J Pain. 2010 Oct;11(10):994-1003. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2010.01.267. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

The association between incident self-reported fibromyalgia and nonpsychiatric factors: 25-years follow-up of the Adventist Health Study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California 92399, USA.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between incident self-reported fibromyalgia (FM) and prior somatic diseases, lifestyle factors, and health behaviors among 3,136 women who participated in 2 cohort studies 25 to 26 years apart (the Adventist Health Study 1 and 2). The women completed a comprehensive lifestyle and medical history questionnaire at baseline in 1976. Information on new diagnosis of doctor-told FM was obtained at the second survey in 2002. A total of 136 women reported a diagnosis of FM during 25 years of follow-up, giving a period incidence of 43/1,000 or 1.72/1000 per year. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, a significant, dose-response association was found with number of allergies with OR of 1.61 (95% CI: .92-2.83) and 3.99 (95% CI: 2.31-6.88), (P[trend] < .0001), respectively, for 1 and 2 or more allergies versus none. A history of hyperemesis gravidarum was also associated with FM with OR of 1.32 (95% CI: .75-2.32) and 1.73 (95% CI: .99-3.03), (P[trend] < .05), respectively, for some or all pregnancies versus none. A positive association with smoking was also found with OR of 2.37 (95% CI: 1.33-4.23) for ever smokers versus never smokers. No significant association was found with number of surgeries, history of peptic ulcer, or taking medications to control various symptoms.


Smoking as well as prevalent allergies, and a history of hyperemesis gravidarum, seem to predict development of FM in women during 25 years of follow-up. This information may help in identifying persons at high risk of developing FM and thus initiate effective prevention strategies.

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