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Prevalence of Fibromyalgia Among Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Relationship to Viral Characteristics and Quality of Life

Mohammad, Ausaf MBBS, MRCPI*; Carey, John J. MBBChBAO, MS, FACR, FRCPI, CCD; Storan, Eoin MBBChBAO, MRCPI; Scarry, Margaret RPN-RGN H Dip in Hepatology Nursing; Coughlan, Robert J. MBBChBAO, FRCPI; Lee, John M. MBBChBAO, FRCPI§

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May/June 2012 - Volume 46 - Issue 5 - p 407–412
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3182485528

Objectives: We determined the prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in a cohort of subjects with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the relationship to subject demographics, viral characteristics, and quality of life.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study of a cohort of HCV-infected individuals, all subjects underwent a standard assessment including history, clinical examination, and functional assessments for pain and disability.

Results: A total of 185 subjects met the inclusion criteria. Median age was 48.7 years, and 110 (59%) were women. A total of 106 (57%) of the subjects met criteria for the presence of FMS. Widespread pain and ≥11 tender points were present in all of the subjects with FMS, fatigue in 98 (92%), and depression in 60 (57%). Among those with FMS, mean pain score was 70±11.78 and 36% reported some functional impairment on (HAQ-DI>0), with 17% reporting moderate-to-severe functional impairment (HAQ-DI≥1.5).

Conclusions: This study reveals a high prevalence of FMS (57%) among subjects with chronic HCV infection, one third of whom reported some degree of functional impairment. Recognition and management of this condition in such patients will help improve their quality of life.

*Department of Rheumatology, Merlin Park University Hospital

Departments of Rheumatology


§Hepatology/Gastroenterology, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Ausaf Mohammad, MBBS, MRCPI, Department of Rheumatology, Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway, Ireland (e-mail:

Received August 3, 2011

Accepted December 26, 2011

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.