Women with Fibromyalgia Experience Worse Foot Health and General Quality of Life, Study Suggests

Women with Fibromyalgia Experience Worse Foot Health and General Quality of Life, Study Suggests
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Women with fibromyalgia show impairments in foot health and general health-related quality of life, according to a study from Spain.

The study, “Quality of life related to foot health status in women with fibromyalgia: a case-control study,” appeared in the journal Archives of Medical Science.

Although the prevalence of stiffness or mobility abnormalities may not be different, women with fibromyalgia experience increased foot pain relative to healthy controls. As such, measuring foot health-related quality of life may be needed to better determine the impact of fibromyalgia.

The Foot Health Status Questionnaire (FHSQ) assesses both foot and general health-related quality of life. However, this questionnaire has not been used in women with fibromyalgia.

Therefore, the researchers in Spain used the FHSQ in 208 women (mean age of 55 years; range 26–83) recruited from an outpatient clinic between March and May 2018 — 104 with fibromyalgia and 104 were healthy controls. The two groups showed similar age, height, weight, and body mass index.

Specifically, the 1.03 Version of the FHSQ included three sections: section one had four domains assessing foot function, foot pain, footwear, and general foot health; section two included four overall health-related quality of life domains — physical activity, general health, social capacity, and vigor; and section three assessed information such as socioeconomic status, comorbidities, satisfaction, and medical record data. The score ranged from zero (worst) to 100 (best).

The results revealed that the women with fibromyalgia had significantly worse foot health and general health-related quality of life than the controls, as revealed by lower scores in all FHSQ domains.

Of note, the results of general health-related quality of life in women with fibromyalgia were similar to those of studies using other questionnaires, the team commented. Also, the foot and general quality-of-life impairments seen in these women were the most significant among the patient populations assessed with the FHSQ, which includes Alzheimer’s patients and women with specific foot problems — such as plantar heel pain — the researchers added.

“In conclusion, an impaired foot and general health-related quality of life was observed in women [with] fibromyalgia compared to healthy matched women,” the researchers wrote.

“Health authorities should pay more attention to improving the general and foot specific health-related quality of life in women with fibromyalgia,” they said.

José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.
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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.
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