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J Rheumatol. 1996 Sep;23(9):1612-6.

Musculoskeletal complaints and fibromyalgia in patients attending a respiratory sleep disorders clinic.

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Rheumatic Diseases Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To determine the frequency of fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome and reporting of pain in an unselected group of patients attending a respiratory sleep disorders clinic, and to examine the association of physical activity and levels of reported pain.


108 consecutive patients attending a respiratory sleep disorders clinic were interviewed and examined, blind to sleep disorder status. Assessment of musculoskeletal pain symptoms included patient history of pain, painful sites marked on a mannequin, visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, and tender point count. Daily physical activity was recorded, and all patients underwent nocturnal polysomnography, blind to clinical status.


FM was identified in 3 patients (2.7%). Pain reporting was more strongly associated with reduced physical activity than with a specific sleep disorder. Patients with reduced physical activity were more likely to have pain symptoms than physically active patients: tender point count > or = 6 (p = 0.002), > or = 3 sites marked on mannequin (p = 0.008), axial pain (p = 0.003), and VAS pain score (p = 0.008).


FM by defined criteria was uncommon in patients with a primary complaint of disturbed sleep, and in particular, patients with sleep apnea. Reduced physical activity was strongly associated with reported pain symptoms.

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