JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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Widespread pain and fibromyalgia in a biracial cohort of young women.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the distribution of widespread pain, tenderpoints (TP), and fibromyalgia (FM) in young African American (AA) and Caucasian (C) women.

METHODS: A community population of 1334 young (21-26 yrs old) women (684 AA and 650 C) was surveyed and classified for body pain spread [chronic widespread pain (CWP), axial regional chronic pain (RCP), nonaxial RCP, or no pain]. Of these women, 553 were examined for TP based on American College of Rheumatology criteria.

RESULTS: Overall, 5.6% reported CWP, while 22% reported axial RCP, and 16% reported nonaxial RCP. From the CWP group, 57% were confirmed as FM cases. C women had significantly more TP and greater TP pain score than AA women (p <or= 0.005). Overall FM prevalence was 2.4% (95% confidence interval: 1.7-3.5%), with 3.0% in AA and 2.0% in C women. Increase in body pain and tenderness was significantly associated with decreased subjective socioeconomic status (SSS), worse self-reported health, greater impact of premenstrual symptoms on activities, and greater depressive symptoms. The effect of depressive symptoms on pain differed by race.

CONCLUSIONS: Widespread pain and tenderness is highly prevalent in these young women. Racial differences seem to exist; C women had significantly increased tenderness while AA women had more widespread pain. The association of depressive symptoms and pain was stronger in AA women. Racial differences emerged relatively early in these young women.

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