Fibromyalgia, a potentially debilitating chronic pain syndrome of unknown etiology, may be characterized by inflammation. In this study, we investigated the relation of FMS to serum C-reactive protein (CRP) in a large population of adults (18+) and investigated the influence of other factors on this relationship, including BMI, comorbidities, as well as mood and sleep disturbance.
Participants were 52,535 Ohio Valley residents (Fibromyalgia n = 1125). All participants completed a comprehensive health survey (2005-2006) part of the C8 Health Project; serum levels of CRP were obtained, as was history of Fibromyalgia physician diagnosis. Logistic and linear regressions were used for this cross-sectional analysis.
Mean CRP was higher among participants reporting Fibromyalgia than those without (5.54 ± 9.8 vs.3.75 ± 7.2 mg/L, p < .0001)). CRP level showed a strong, positive association with FMS (unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for highest vs. lowest quartile = 2.5 (CI 2.1,3.0;p for trend < .0001)); adjustment for demographic and lifestyle factors attenuated but did not eliminate this association (AOR for highest vs. lowest quartile = 1.4 (CI 1.1,1.6;p for trend < .0001)). Further addition of body mass index (BMI) and comorbidities to the model markedly weakened this relationship (AORs, respectively, for highest vs lowest CRP quartile = 1.2 (CI 1.0,1.4) and 1.1 (CI 0.9,1.3). In contrast, inclusion of mood and sleep impairment only modestly reduced the adjusted risk estimate (AORs for highest vs. lowest quartile = 1.3 (CI 1.1,1.5) for each)).
Findings from this large cross-sectional study indicate a significant positive cross-sectional association of Fibromyalgia to serum C-reactive protein may be explained, in part, by BMI and comorbidity. Prospective research is needed to confirm this, and clarify the potential mediating influence of obesity and comorbid conditions on this relationship.