Severe obesity in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is associated with higher levels of FMS symptoms and lower levels of quality of life, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They assessed 888 patients who were seen in an FMS treatment program and who completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey. Patients were grouped by body mass index (BMI) status as follows: nonobese (BMI, lower than 25.0 kg/m2), overweight (BMI, 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2), moderately obese (BMI, 30.0 to 34.9 kg/m2), and severely obese (BMI, 35.0 kg/m2 or higher).
The groups with higher BMI had greater FMS-related symptoms with worse FIQ total scores, as well as worse scores in the FIQ subscales of physical function, work missed, job ability, pain, stiffness, and depression. They also had worse SF-36 scores in physical functioning, pain index, general health perceptions, role emotional, and physical component summary. The differences were found mostly in the severely obese group. The study appeared in a recent issue of Arthritis Care & Research, an American College of Rheumatology publication.