Fibromyalgia and Risk of Dementia—A Nationwide, Population-Based, Cohort Study

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Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic pain and other symptoms and is associated with patient discomfort and other diseases. This nationwide matched-cohort population-based study aimed to investigate the association between fibromyalgia and the risk of developing dementia, and to clarify the association between fibromyalgia and dementia.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 41,612 patients of age ≥50 years with newly diagnosed fibromyalgia between January 1, and December 31, 2000 were selected from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, along with 124,836 controls matched for sex and age. After adjusting for any confounding factors, Fine and Gray competing risk analysis was used to compare the risk of developing dementia during the 10 years of follow-up.


Of the study subjects, 1,704 from 41,612 fibromyalgia patients (21.23 per 1,000 person-years) developed dementia when compared to 4,419 from 124,836 controls (18.94 per 1,000 person-years). Fine and Gray competing risk analysis revealed that the study subjects were more likely to develop dementia (hazard ratio: 2.29, 95% CI: 2.16-2.42; P < 0.001). After adjusting for sex, age, monthly income, urbanization level, geographic region of residence and comorbidities the hazard ratio was 2.77 (95% CI: 2.61-2.95, P < 0.001). Fibromyalgia was associated with increased risk of all types of dementia in this study.


The study subjects with fibromyalgia had a 2.77-fold risk of dementia in comparison to the control group. Therefore, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the association between fibromyalgia and the risk of dementia.

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