• Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia

    A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
    It is possible to develop fibromyalgia with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
    There are still many questions regarding the exact cause(s) of fibromyalgia, so risk factors are still being identified. Currently, risk factors include:
    Although fibromyalgia may develop in men or women, statistics show that women are seven times more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.
    People between the ages of 20-60 are at the highest risk of developing the onset of fibromyalgia, although it may occur at any age.
    There is some indication that genetic factors may be involved in the development of fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that people with family members who have fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
    People who have recently experienced a traumatic physical or emotional event (such as a divorce or car accident) may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
    There is evidence that fibromyalgia and obesity may be linked. Fibromyalgia patients are more likely to be obese.
    The majority of individuals with fibromyalgia report a history of psychiatric symptoms, but many others do not. There is no clear evidence that psychiatric illness causes fibromyalgia.


    Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated August 10, 2012. Accessed October 11, 2012.

    Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia%5Fff.asp . Updated July 2011. Accessed October 11, 2012.

    Ursini F, et al. Fibromyalgia and obesity: the hidden link. Reumatol Int . 2011;31(11):1403-8.

    Revision Information

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.