A study entitled, “The prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population: a comparison of the american college of rheumatology 1990, 2010, and modified 2010 classification criteria,” published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology found a wide disparity between the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)‘s 1990 and 2010 (original and modified) diagnostic criteria.
The ACR 1990 criteria was originally based on the presence of unlocalized pain and tenderness, while the newer 2010 criteria paid attention to more symptoms, which was later modified to consider only self-reported symptoms. With these in consideration, the study sought to compare the prevalence rates of fibromyalgia when obtained through the different ACR criteria.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1,604 adults in northeast Scotland by mailing a questionnaire, featuring items about pain, symptoms, and rheumatologic diagnoses. Those who reported having chronic generalized pain or met the amended 2010 criteria (n=269) were asked to come to the research clinic, where they completed a second questionnaire and a rheumatologic assessment. Lastly, the attendees were classified according to their symptoms and the alternative sets of criteria.
They found 32 of those who came to the clinic met at least 1 set of criteria for FM, 11 met ACR 1990; 7 met ACR 2010, and 27 met the modified ACR 2010 set. Only 4 met all three sets, and none of the participants met both ACR 2010 versions. The actual prevalence of FM among the participants was 1.7%, based on the ACR 1990 criteria, 1.2% using the ACR 2010 set, and 5.4% using the modified version.
In conclusion, the prevalence of FM varies significantly, depending on which set of classification criteria is used. Specifically, the rate is higher and more men are diagnosed using the modified ACR 2010 criteria compared to the other alternatives that necessitate a physician’s input. These findings offer important insights for future creation and modifications of new disease criteria.
In other developments in fibromyalgia, to address the cognitive impairment of FM patients, the researchers at the Rush Medical College, Chicago and colleagues at other institutions compared the symptoms exhibited between FM patients and patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disease that mainly affects the joints, causing them to be deformed and painful and ultimately resulting in loss of function.