Purpose: To determine the ability of a set of physical fitness tests to discriminate presence/absence of fibromyalgia in women.
Methods: The sample comprised 487 women with fibromyalgia (52.1+/-8 years) and 250 control women (49.3+/-9 years). We assessed physical fitness by means of the arm-curl, 30-s chair-stand, handgrip strength, 8-feet up&go, 6-min walk, chair sit&reach and the back-scratch tests. The revised fibromyalgia impact questionnaire was used to assess fibromyalgia severity and symptomatology.
Results: Fibromyalgia patients performed worse than control women in all the fitness tests studied (all, P<0.001). The ROC analysis showed that all the fitness tests were able to discriminate between presence/absence of fibromyalgia (all, P<0.001). The area under the curve ranged from 0.708 to 0.910 (all, P<0.001). Among the fitness tests studied, the arm-curl test, followed by the 30-s chair-stand and handgrip strength tests showed the highest capacity discriminating between the presence/absence of fibromyalgia. An arm-curl test score of <20 repetitions was associated with an increased odds of having fibromyalgia (odds ratio (OR): 35.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.6-101) in women aged 35-44. An arm-curl test score of <16 repetitions was associated with an increased odds of having fibromyalgia (OR: 23.7; 95% CI: 10.3-54.0) in women aged 35-44. In the group of women aged 55-65, the highest OR was observed for the handgrip strength test and the odds of having fibromyalgia was 17 times greater in those patients who performed at less than 19 kg.
Conclusions: The arm-curl, 30-s chair-stand and handgrip strength tests powerfully discriminated women with fibromyalgia from healthy women. Identification of women who fail to meet the suggested standards can help to easily, quickly and cheaply rule out the presence of the disease, especially in primary care settings.
(C) 2014 American College of Sports Medicine