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75% of Persons in the General Population Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Don’t Have It, But It Is Worse Than That … – The Fibromyalgia Perplex

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Fred Wolfe
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January 11

PainSci notes

This is a scholarly commentary on the substantial over and under diagnosis of fibromyalgia, with an estimated 75% of people with diagnosis actually not fitting diagnostic criteria, about 1.5% of the US population:

By our calculations almost 3 million people who do not meet fibromyalgia criteria have been given a fibromyalgia diagnosis. At the other end of the spectrum, there are almost 3 million persons who satisfy fibromyalgia criteria, but have not been diagnosed with the disorder by a physician.

The authors argue that misdiagnosis is driven more by “socially-constructed factors” like pharmaceutical companies aggressively teaching doctors to diagnose fibromyalgia and prescribe (unproven) drugs for it; patient advocacy groups trying to legitimize the diagnosis; and doctors seeking prestige by publishing about fibromyalgia.

They also make some important points about the state of our understanding of fibromyalgia along the way, most notably that central sensitization remains both unproven and problematic as a major cause or mechanism of fibromyalgia.

~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher

Related Content

This item is about:

“Three-Quarters of Persons in the US Population Reporting a Clinical Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Do Not Satisfy Fibromyalgia Criteria: The 2012 National Health Interview Survey,” Walitt et al, PLoS ONE, 2016.

One article on cites this item as a source:

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