A recent study in the Journal of Rheumatology shows that patients with both fibromyalgia (FM) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can experience worse arthritic symptoms, and suggests that clinicians should consider different ways to determine treatment plans for patients with both diseases so that unnecessary treatments can be avoided.
The study, The Effect of the Presence of Fibromyalgia on Common Clinical Disease Activity Indices in Patients withPsoriatic Arthritis: A Cross-sectional Study, led by S. Birkman of the departments of Rheumatology and Dermatology at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, included 73 people with PsA.
The researchers measured whether study participants also had FM according to American College of Rheumatism criteria. The team gave all subjects a clinical evaluation of disease activity. The scientists quantified disease activity using the Composite Psoriatic Disease Activity Index (CPDAI), minimal disease activity (MDA), and the Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis (DAPSA) scores.
The participants also completed several established questionnaires, including the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease ActivityIndex (BASDAI), the Dermatology Life Quality Index, and the Leeds Enthesitis Index (LEI).
Thirteen patients with PsA also had FM. DAPSA scores were significantly higher in patients with both PsA and FM when compared to patients with PsA only. HAQ, BASDAI, and LEI scores were also more severe in patients with PsA and FM.
Investigators concluded: “Coexisting FM is related to worse scores on all tested measures in with PsA. Its influence should be taken into consideration in the treatment algorithm to avoid unnecessary upgrading of treatment.”
Fibromyalgia is a painful disorder that healthcare providers sometimes fail to recognize as an actual medical condition. Characterized by extreme fatigue and chronic pain, often in localized body regions, FM can occur along with other painful conditions, such as arthritis. PsA is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red and itchy scales and the build up of skin cells.