It's counterintuitive but young and middle-aged fibromyalgia patients report worse symptoms and poorer quality of life than older patients, accordin to Mayo Clinic results.
Fibromyalgia is a non-specific disorder,
characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain with fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues that most often strikes women. The researchers presented their findings at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting and suggest the disorder plays out differently among different age groups.
They divided 978 fibromyalgia patients into three age groups: those 39 or younger, those 50 to 59, and those 60 or older. The younger and middle-aged patients were likelier to be employed, unmarried, smokers and have a higher education level, lower body mass index, more abuse history and a shorter duration of fibromyalgia symptoms than older patients.
"Among the three age groups of young, middle-aged and older, symptom severity and quality of life differs," says senior author Terry Oh, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
For most issues, quality of life and physical health are considered to be negatively associated with age.
Oh notes that women in all three groups with fibromyalgia reported a lower quality of life than average U.S. women, and that the difference between their physical health and that of the average woman was more significant than mental health differences, particularly in young patients.
In other work, they found:
- About 7 percent of fibromyalgia patients had inflammatory rheumatic conditions, and that in general, those fibromyalgia patients didn't do as well with treatment as those without rheumatic diseases.
- Fibromyalgia patients may also have skin-related symptoms such as excessive sweating or burning or other sensations.
- Obese patients with polymyalgia rheumatica have more pain and disability than other polymyalgia rheumatica patients. They also tend to need higher doses of glucocorticoids.
- Rheumatoid arthritis patient experiences and symptoms do not always reflect what medical literature shows when it comes to pain, morning stiffness, the relationship between swelling and damage, and what worsens or improves symptoms.
- Hospitalization is a significant risk factor for gout flares in people already diagnosed with gout.