IBD increases fibromyalgia risk, especially in men

  • Chen JH & al.
  • Pain Physician
  • 1 May 2018

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Adults with IBD are at higher risk for fibromyalgia than adults without IBD, according to a large Taiwanese retrospective cohort study.
  • Male and younger patients (ages 20-39 years) with IBD face the highest risks.

Why this matters

  • IBD patients should be screened for fibromyalgia and referred for diagnosis and treatment.

Study design

  • Retrospective, population-based, cohort study, 1 million medical records, Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database.
  • 4510 patients with newly diagnosed IBD (from 2000 to 2005) and without fibromyalgia were followed for 12 years and compared with 18,040 controls (sex-, age-matched) without IBD.
  • Results adjusted for comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, depression, anxiety, sleep disorder.
  • Funding: Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare; China Medical University Hospital; Ministry of Education, Taiwan; NRPB Stroke Clinical Trial Consortium.

Key results

  • With IBD, risk for fibromyalgia (adjusted HRs):
    • Versus controls: 1.70 (95% CI, 1.59-1.83).
    • In men: 2.00 (95% CI, 1.79-2.23). 
    • In women: 1.52 (95% CI, 1.38-1.67).
    • By age, highest in youngest age group studied (ages 20-39 years): 1.92 (95% CI, 1.68-2.19).

Limitations

  • Some cardiovascular comorbidities could not be studied.
  • Retrospective design.

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