Prevalence of Fibromyalgia Syndrome in Active-Duty Military Personnel.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Previous research with civilian populations has found strong associations between fibromyalgia (FM) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We undertook this study to investigate of the prevalence of FM in military service members with and without PTSD. METHODS: Participants were active duty military personnel recruited into either an epidemiologic cohort study of service members before a military deployment or 1 of 3 PTSD treatment trials. Instruments used to document FM and PTSD included the PTSD Checklist-Stressor-Specific Version, the PTSD Symptom Scale-Interview, and the 2012 American College of Rheumatology FM questionnaire. RESULTS: Across the 4 studies, 4,376 subjects completed surveys. The prevalence of FM was 2.9% in the predeployment cohort, and the prevalence was significantly higher in individuals with PTSD (10.8%) compared with those without PTSD (0.8%). In the treatment trials, all of the participants met criteria for PTSD before starting treatment, and the prevalence of FM was 39.7%. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of FM in active duty service members preparing to deploy is similar to that reported for the general population of the US but is higher than expected for a predominantly male cohort. Furthermore, the prevalence of FM was significantly higher in service members with comorbid PTSD and was highest among those seeking treatment for PTSD. Further investigation is needed to determine the factors linking PTSD and FM.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lawrence-Wolff, KM; Higgs, JB; Young-McCaughan, S; Mintz, J; Foa, EB; Resick, PA; Kelly, KM; Maurer, DM; Borah, AM; Yarvis, JS; Litz, BT; Hildebrand, BA; Williamson, DE; Peterson, AL; STRONG STAR Consortium,

Published Date

  • October 4, 2021

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 34606694

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2151-4658

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/acr.24801


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States