Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop fibromyalgia with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
There are still many questions regarding the exact cause(s) of fibromyalgia, so risk factors are still being identified. Currently, risk factors include:
Although fibromyalgia may develop in men or women, statistics show that women are seven times more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.
People between the ages of 20-60 are at the highest risk of developing the onset of fibromyalgia, although it may occur at any age.
There is some indication that genetic factors may be involved in the development of fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that people with family members who have fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
Specific Lifestyle Factors
People who have recently experienced a traumatic physical or emotional event (such as divorce, car accident, etc) may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
While the majority of individuals with fibromyalgia report a history of psychiatric symptoms, many patients do not, and there is no clear evidence that psychiatric illness causes fibromyalgia.
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/ .
Fibromyalgia Network website. Available at: http://www.fmnetnews.com/
Last reviewed August 2008 by
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