Low Bone Mineral Density Prevalent in Female and Caucasian Fibromyalgia Patients, Analysis Finds

Low Bone Mineral Density Prevalent in Female and Caucasian Fibromyalgia Patients, Analysis Finds

A new meta-analysis conducted by South Korean researchers has concluded that bone mineral density (BMD) is significantly lower in fibromyalgia patients who are either Caucasian and/or female.

The study, “Association between low bone mineral density and fibromyalgia: a meta-analysis,” was published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology.

While the relationship between fibromyalgia and BMD has never been explained, the correlation between the disease and low bone mineral density is likely true. Low BMD is a dangerous condition because it can put patients at risk for osteoporosis.

Low bone mineral density may exist in fibromyalgia patients due to the fact that most of these patients are in too much pain to exercise frequently, which is a known risk factor for low BMD levels. Also, fibromyalgia patients often don’t get enough exposure to the sun, which leads to low vitamin D levels — another risk factor for low BMD.

Other conditions that are common in fibromyalgia patients include irritable bowel syndrome and depression, which have also been associated with low bone mineral density levels.

Interestingly, both fibromyalgia and low BMD levels are common among women.

Studies that have specifically looked at a potential link between low BMD and fibromyalgia have not reported any significant association. However, this may be due to the fact that the individual studies did not include a sample size large enough to produce a statistically significant result.

So, researchers at the Korea University College of Medicine conducted a meta-analysis of published research studies in order to determine if there is a relationship between bone mineral density and fibromyalgia. In total, 12 studies were included in the analysis, including data from 695 fibromyalgia patients and 784 healthy people, or controls.

Bone mineral density levels were compared between the controls and and fibromyalgia patients. The analysis was also conducted taking into account different ethnicities, site of BMD, age, gender, and measurement method.

Results showed a significantly lower BMD in fibromyalgia patients who were Caucasian, but not in patients who were of Turkish origin. And, when looking at different sites of BMD analysis, results indicated that bone mineral density was significantly lower in the lumbar region of the spine in fibromyalgia patients, but not in the femur, neck, or hip.

When analyzing the different measurement methods, results showed that a significantly lower BMD in fibromyalgia patients was detected if the method used was dual X-ray absorptiometry and dual-photon absorptiometry. But BMD was not found to be lower when the measurement method was quantitative ultrasound.

Regarding gender, additional analysis revealed significantly lower bone mineral density levels in female fibromyalgia patients.

These results led the researchers to suggest that BMD is significantly lower in fibromyalgia patients who are either Caucasian and female, indicating the disease may be a risk factor for osteoporosis.

5 comments

    • Darla Dixon says:

      No ma’am! There are things wrong with this article and study, so never ever give up!

      I was walking my dog almost an hour as well as going to an outdoor swimming pool – in Georgia…lots of sun…and vitamin D was still low. Some peoples’ bodies just do not convert sunlight to vitamin D.

      A huge thing that this article does NOT lay out is that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) ALSO has the issues in the article, plus many more things that are considered comorbid conditions to Fibromyalgia.

      The Hypermobility type of EDS is the most common type of EDS. You do not have to have stretchy skin to have EDS, nor do you need to have every symptom.

      Protect your joints with neoprene supports and braces and when you are older you will have prevented some arthritis pain. See the Ehlers Danlos Foundatiom videos on YouTube.

  1. Peppermints says:

    I fall into a lot of this information , caucasian, female, lower back, I can feel the difference in my bone strength, I was super strong – I feel the loss of my strong bones. And all the pain when I try doing heavy work

  2. Sunny says:

    I think when looking at studies like this it’s important to note that the there is only proof of correlation NOT causation. Much more study would be needed to prove that one thing causes another.

  3. Janice says:

    I have been diagnoses with severe low bone density (can’t remember the exact wording!). Bovine supplements have been suggested, but I am vegetarian and would never be able to digest anything animal. Started taking Calcium, Vt D etc. but lack of exercise is the culprit.

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