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Pain Med. 2012 Mar;13(3):452-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01304.x. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Vitamin D deficiency in women with fibromyalgia in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Neurology, Cairo University, Kaser Al-Aini Hospital, Al-Manyal, Cairo, Egypt.



The relation between low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, including fibromyalgia syndrome, is debatable. Many studies have reported "a positive relation" and others "found no relation."


To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among patients with fibromyalgia in a neurology clinic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).


This study was done at a neurology clinic of Bugshan Hospital, Jeddah, KSA, from January to April 2011. Thirty female patients were diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to new clinical fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria; their serum vitamin D levels were screened. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as <20 ng/mL, vitamin D insufficiency is defined as 21-29 ng/mL, and vitamin D sufficiency is equal to or >30 ng/mL.


Thirty female patients were included in the study. The mean age was 34.56 ± 8.1 years. Mean vitamin D level was 4.76 ± 1.46 ng/mL. A significant negative correlation between vitamin D level and widespread pain index was found. Thirty percent of the patients were Saudi Arabian of whom 100% were veiled; 70% were non-Saudi Arabian of whom 47.6% were veiled and 52.4% wore long pants and/or full sleeved clothes. Vitamin D deficiency was equally prevalent among veiled (4.77 ± 1.37 ng/mL) and nonveiled (4.75 ± 1.68 ng/mL). Treatment with high-dose vitamin D resulted in clinical improvement in all patients.


Vitamin D deficiency is often seen in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia in our population. This was equally true in veiled and nonveiled, but conservatively dressed populations. Effective treatment with high-dose vitamin D could lead to resolution of almost all symptoms. Further study of these populations and fortification of foods with vitamin D may be essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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