Sleep problems are associated with an increased risk of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in women. The risk of FMS increases with the severity of sleep problems, and the association is stronger in middle-aged and older women than in younger women.
In a prospective study, Mork and Nilsen investigated the effect of sleep problems on FMS risk in a population of women in Norway. They included patients aged 20 years and older who had participated in the Nord-Trøndelag Health study, a large population-based trial, by answering a health-related questionnaire and undergoing clinical examination. For the current study, the researchers selected 12,350 women who were free of musculoskeletal pain and movement disorders.
At follow-up, 327 women had FMS, representing an incidence proportion of 2.6% during 10 years. The adjusted relative risk for women who reported having sleep problems "often" or "always" was 5.41 among women older than 45 years and 2.98 among those between 20 and 44 years.