24 Essential Fibromyalgia Statistics for 2022

Fibromyalgia Statistics Featured Image

Before we dig deeper into fibromyalgia statistics, first we’ll explain what this condition means in general terms. To begin with, fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes pain all over the body, and that isn’t easy to diagnose. If you want to find out more about fibromyalgia syndrome, take a look at our meticulously compiled data below. Let’s get started.

Top 10 Fibromyalgia Statistics for 2022

  • Fibromyalgia affects around 3%–6% of the world population.
  • About 2%–4% of the people in the US suffer from fibromyalgia.
  • Fibromyalgia affects women more than men.
  • This disease usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • About 10% of fibromyalgia sufferers are men.
  • Fibromyalgia is triggered by an illness or a traumatic event in 50% of the cases.
  • 81.8% of fibromyalgia patients are at risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior.
  • About 56% of fibromyalgia patients meet the criteria for PTSD.
  • In the US, around 75%–90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women.
  • Nearly 70% of fibromyalgia sufferers are diagnosed with IBS or other GI issues.

Fibromyalgia Statistics: Worldwide Figures

Fibromyalgia is among the most common chronic pain conditions across the world, and anyone can develop it. Since this condition can be hard to understand, we’ve prepared some statistics that can help you learn more about it. So let’s get busy.

1. Fibromyalgia worldwide statistics indicate that this disease affects around 3%–6% of the global population.

(NFA)

Fibromyalgia occurs in all populations worldwide. In addition to that, it affects all ages and races. The symptoms of the disease are noticed in between 3% and 6% of the world population. While this condition is most prevalent in women, it occurs in men and children of all ethnic groups too.

2. Based on the fibromyalgia statistics for the US, about 2%–4% of the country’s population has fibromyalgia.

(Health Grades) (NFA)

Other estimates indicate that around 4 to 12 million Americans suffer from this disorder. Moreover, by the age of 80, nearly 8% of the adults meet the American College of Rheumatology classification of fibromyalgia.

3. Based on the available fibromyalgia facts, this disease affects women more than men.

(Healthline) (NIAMS)

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, although it mostly affects women and usually starts in middle age. Moreover, this condition is more likely to affect people who suffer from lupus, arthritis, or PTSD. Finally, individuals with fibromyalgia family members are at a higher risk of getting the disease.

4. The average fibromyalgia age of onset is between the ages of 30 and 50.

(NHS)

In general, fibromyalgia can affect anyone, but people in this age group seem to be at the highest risk. That being said, many patients’ symptoms start much earlier in life. This condition can affect people of any age group, including children. As a rough estimate, approximately 1 in 20 people may get fibromyalgia.

5. About 10% of fibromyalgia patients are male.

(Creaky Joints) (NCBI)

With such a low prevalence of fibromyalgia in men, the percentage of female sufferers is extremely high. However, one research posits that the chances of developing fibromyalgia are actually much more similar for men and women. The assumption is that men are less likely than women to identify the signals and be diagnosed with this illness. Nevertheless, the debate is still open on this subject.

Fibromyalgia Facts and Statistics

Fibromyalgia was first mentioned in the mid-1970s. Yet, since its causes are still relatively unknown, it’s still a subject of debate whether this condition should be considered an actual disease. In the section below, we’ll be looking at some more statistics related to the disorder. 

6. The fibromyalgia prevalence in the US is 3%–5% in women and up to 1.6% in men.

(MedScape)

Fibromyalgia can affect any gender, ethnic group, and culture. Chronic pain and fatigue are its most common symptoms, mainly noticeable among women and individuals of lower socioeconomic status. The prevalence of chronic fatigue is around 20%, regional pain 20%, and widespread pain 11%.

7. According to the fibromyalgia suicide statistics, 81.8% of patients with chronic pain are at risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

(Frontiers)

A lot of people with fibromyalgia have attempted suicide or had the intention of attempting it. Concerning gender representation, women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or commit suicide. The percentage of fibromyalgia sufferers who have had suicidal thoughts is significantly higher than that of patients with healthy controls and low-back pain.

8. The fibromyalgia statistics for the United States show that about 75%–90% of the sufferers are women.

(NFA)

Being one of the most common chronic pain disorders, fibromyalgia can affect everyone. Although it’s mostly present in women, this condition can occur in men and children too. In addition to that, high levels of cortisol increase chronic pain in women who suffer from fibromyalgia.

9. The facts about fibromyalgia demonstrate that the risk of suicide is ten times higher in fibromyalgia sufferers than in the general population.

(eMedicine Health) (CDC)

The pain from fibromyalgia can drastically reduce the sufferer’s quality of life. In a nutshell, this disease is often life-long, but it’s not deadly. Yet, the difficulties of fibromyalgia can lead to higher death rates. While depression is probably the largest influence, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and chronic pain all have their own parts to play as well.

Interesting Facts About Fibromyalgia

People suffering from this condition can go undiagnosed for years, or they can get the wrong diagnosis. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are hard to understand. Even medical professionals have difficulties diagnosing it because its signs are too similar to other disorders. In the following section, you can find out more about the disease. Let’s take a closer look.

10. The available fibromyalgia statistics indicate that nearly 70% of fibromyalgia sufferers are also diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues.

(Classic Rehabilitation) (GI Society)

If we were just to take a look at the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), around a third of people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed with this condition. IBS is the most common gastrointestinal diagnosis, and its symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea.

11. People with fibromyalgia typically experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points.

(Medical News Today)

Despite the relatively high prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population, it can be difficult to make an accurate fibromyalgia diagnosis. One of the ways this was done in the past is by examining tender points—sensitive body areas that become painful when pressure is applied. There are 18 tender points all over the body. In order to be diagnosed with this condition, people needed to feel pain in at least 11 of those 18 points.

12. Fibromyalgia incidence increases with age—around 2% of the population have it at age 20, and about 8% have it at age 70, as evidenced by recent fibromyalgia stats.

(GI Society)

This disorder involves widespread pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Those who suffer from it often experience fatigue and sleeping difficulties, along with other symptoms. While most researchers are confident that fibromyalgia is not related to tissue inflammation, the cause of the pain is still unknown.

13. The cause-related fibromyalgia rates show that in nearly 50% of fibromyalgia cases, the disease is triggered by an illness or a traumatic event.

(Mayo Clinic) (GI Society)

The main signs of fibromyalgia are fatigue, widespread pain, and cognitive difficulties. In half of the cases of fibromyalgia, the symptoms start after events involving physical or emotional trauma or an influenza-like illness.

14. Around 56% of fibromyalgia patients meet the criteria for PTSD, according to recent fibromyalgia statistics.

(PubMed)

Fibromyalgia can be triggered by many factors. This includes traumatic brain injuries, specific infections, or serious emotional stress. It is therefore not surprising that PTSD is also often detected in fibromyalgia sufferers. Patients exhibiting signs of both disorders reported higher levels of pain, life interference, and emotional distress than those who were only diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 

Facts on Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and Treatment

Even though this syndrome has been documented for a while, there are still doctors who believe their patients are just imagining it. Luckily, there are also those who have been working on finding reliable ways to diagnose and treat this debilitating condition. If you want to learn more about how fibromyalgia treatments work to ease the pain and boost energy, keep on reading.

15. Around 79% of newly diagnosed fibromyalgia sufferers meet the clinical threshold for depression.

(MedScape) (Web MD)

A great number of people with fibromyalgia experience mental disorders. For instance, this disease is often linked to depression. As a matter of fact, fibromyalgia patients are up to three times more likely to be depressed at the time of their diagnosis than people who don’t suffer from this condition. However, after a short medical treatment, the percentage drops to nearly 53%.

16. Recent fibromyalgia facts indicate that CBD can improve sleeping in around 30% of fibromyalgia patients.

(PubMed) (Medical News Today)

Since most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep a day, fibromyalgia-caused sleeping troubles are often among the more harmful symptoms of the condition. According to a 2019 study, administration of CBD induced sleepiness in nearly 30% of patients who suffered from epilepsy. Additionally, other research shows that CBD can also help alleviate chronic pain, meaning it might be able to address two of the major issues related to the syndrome.

17. The available fibromyalgia disease facts reveal that medicinal cannabis might be able to improve the overall health of around 81% of fibromyalgia sufferers.

(PubMed)

At least this is what a 367-participant study conducted between 2015 and 2017 seems to indicate. While there is still not enough evidence that medical cannabis can be helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia, the idea that it can be used to treat chronic pain is much more backed by research. The study concluded that medicinal cannabis is a successful and safe therapy for people who have symptoms of fibromyalgia. 

18. Only 30%–50% of people who have fibromyalgia benefit from fibro-approved prescription medications.

(Mighty)

Finding the right fibromyalgia medication may be tricky. At the moment, three medications are officially approved to treat fibromyalgia: duloxetine, pregabalin, and milnacipran. The doctors have also found that they can improve the fibromyalgia recovery rate of their patients by prescribing other medication that was approved for diseases with similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. Before they find a drug that works for them, patients typically need to try six or more options first.

19. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help fibromyalgia sufferers to manage some of the symptoms.

(Cochrane)

One of the interesting facts about fibromyalgia is that the patients may get better by using mind‐body therapies. One research indicates that after the treatments, 7.5% of the patients had improved physical functioning, 3.5% felt less pain, and 4.8% were in a better mood. Additionally, since practices like yoga can improve sleep, count as exercise, and have been shown to be able to relieve stress, they are highly recommended to people dealing with this condition.

Lesser-Known Facts About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can include a range of symptoms. The pain that this disorder causes usually affects the shoulders, arms, neck, chest, and upper back. The sufferers also have to deal with fatigue and cognitive difficulties. Let’s take a look at some more facts about this disease.

20. There’s no universal fibromyalgia diet that can be helpful for all sufferers.

(Web MD) (Medical News Today)

However, some people find that certain foods have a huge impact on their symptoms. For example, fibromyalgia patients should avoid gluten, eat more whole grains, only use healthy oils, and look into high-quality vitamin D supplements if they can’t otherwise ensure they are getting enough of this nutrient.

21. When diagnosing fibromyalgia, sed rate tests are often used to exclude other conditions.

(MedScape)

The erythrocyte sed rate (ESR) is a routine laboratory test for people with fibromyalgia. Since their sed rates are usually within the normal ranges, these tests are meant to rule out the presence of inflammatory disorders. The high limit of normal for the ESR in females is half their age, and in males, half their age minus 10.

22. The fact that it’s more difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia in men indicates that the currently accepted fibromyalgia population statistics might not be completely reliable.

(Sage Journals)

Fibromyalgia is a serious disease that is underdiagnosed in men. As a result of this condition, men who suffer from it have problems with physical and mental health, quality of life, and personal or professional relationships.

23. Even though fibromyalgia has been studied for a very long time, some doctors believe that it’s only a product of imagination. 

(Web MD)

This is one of the littleknown facts about fibromyalgia that definitely deserves more attention thanks to the profound impact it can have on the sufferers. In part, this happens because there is no clear and conclusive test that shows if one has fibromyalgia or not, leading some doctors to completely dismiss reports of the condition and others to treat it as masked depression.

24. Fibromyalgia isn’t a deadly disease.

(Upper Cervical Awareness)

Many people wonder if fibromyalgia is fatal. Fortunately, no, on its own, this disease isn’t deadly. However, higher suicide rates have been linked to the syndrome and its debilitating symptoms. In other words, even though it’s not directly life-threatening, fibromyalgia can be a life-long condition, and vigilant management of its symptoms is essential.

Finishing Thoughts

Many people have suffered from this disease over the centuries. However, even with all the widely available facts about fibromyalgia, awareness of its potential impact on the sufferers is still on an alarmingly low level. That’s why we hope that the information presented here has dispelled some of the most common myths about this condition and motivated you to try and learn even more about it. 

FAQs

Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease?

The answer to this question might be the key to formulating more effective treatments. Yet, the main cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown. However, there are some hints that the immune system might be accountable, or at least involved. For example, people with lupus, which is an autoimmune disorder, are more likely than members of the general population to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well.

Is fibromyalgia hereditary?

This condition tends to run in families. Although this disease isn’t passed directly from parents to children, if a parent or sibling also has the condition, it’s more likely for other family members to develop it. As indicated by the majority of universally accepted fibromyalgia facts, for family members of sufferers to have any reason for concern, they need to be an immediate relation and display some of the symptoms first. That said, fibromyalgia appears to cluster within families.

Does fibromyalgia go away?

In a nutshell, yes. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are treatable, and the disease goes away in a very high number of people. The chances of this happening seem to be related to how long the patient has been dealing with the condition. For those who have had it for two years or less, the chance of it going away is about 70%–80%.

Is fibromyalgia considered high risk for Covid?

This disease by itself doesn’t raise the chances of getting COVID-19. However, fibromyalgia sufferers who also have an autoimmune disease (which, as we mentioned, is by no means an insignificant percentage) could be at higher risk for COVID-19.

What is the life expectancy with fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is characterized by phases of flare-ups followed by phases when the symptoms are minimal. Nevertheless, fibromyalgia doesn’t reduce life expectancy, and it’s not deadly. However, fibromyalgia statistics show that the pain it causes reduces the quality of life and can lead to disability and suicidal ideation.

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