A four-year follow-up study in fibromyalgia. Relationship to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Nørregaard J., Bülow PM., Prescott E., Jacobsen S., Danneskiold-Samsøe B.
The primary objectives of this study were to examine to what extent fibromyalgia patients later on developed presumpted causative somatic diseases and to examine symptoms and muscle strength some years after the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was established. A secondary objective was to describe the overlap between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Only in two of 91 the muscle pain was found to be caused by another somatic disease during the median 4 year follow-up period. In one of the 83 attending subjects a somatic disease associated with muscle symptoms was established at the follow-up visit. 60 out of 83 reported increased pain, 8 reported improvement of pain. The 83 subjects showed no significant fall in muscle strength during the follow-up period. The majority reported severe fatigue but only one fifth fulfilled the proposed chronic fatigue syndrome criteria.